Rae Armantrout Selects Hannah Sanghee Park as 2014 Walt Whitman Award Recipient

Posted on

Apr 09 2014

New York, NY (April 10, 2014)—The Academy of American Poets is pleased to announce that Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rae Armantrout has selected Hannah Sanghee Park as the recipient of the 2014 Walt Whitman Award, the Academy’s prestigious first book prize. As the winner of the Whitman Award, Park’s manuscript, The Same-Different, will be published by Louisiana State University Press in 2015, and the Academy of American Poets will purchase and distribute thousands of copies of the book to its members. Park will also receive $5,000, a one-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center, and promotion on Poets.org.

Established in 1975, the Academy of American Poets’ Walt Whitman Award is designed to encourage the work of emerging poets. Previous recipients include poets such as Nicole Cooley, Suji Kwock Kim, Eric Pankey, Matt Rasmussen, and Alberto Ríos. About Hannah Sanghee Park’s poetry, Rae Armantrout said:

“The poems in The Same-Different, beginning with a set of gnomic sonnets, tell it slant, then slanter. They are so full of chiasmus, pun, and near-rhyme that their figures twist back on themselves like strands of DNA or a staircase by Escher. They are mirror-bright. This book is a literally dazzling debut.”

Hannah Sanghee Park was born in Tacoma, Washington, on May 24, 1986. She holds a BA from the University of Washington and an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Park is also the author of a chapbook, Ode Days Ode (The Catenary Press, 2011). Her honors include a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship in 2013, as well as fellowships and grants from the Fulbright Program, the Iowa Arts Council/National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, and others. Park attends the Writing for Screen & Television Program at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. She lives in Los Angeles.

In 2013 the Academy of American Poets distributed over $200,000 to poets at various stages of their careers through their annual series of awards. Park and the Academy’s other 2014 prize recipients will be honored at the Academy of American Poets' Awards Ceremony, part of the annual Poets Forum at The New School in New York City, on October 17, 2014. The event is free and open to the public.

About Rae Armantrout

Rae Armantrout was born in Vallejo, California, in 1947, and grew up in San Diego. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied with Denise Levertov, and a master's degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University. She has published numerous books of poetry, including her latest, Just Saying (Wesleyan University Press, 2013); Versed (2009), which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2010; and Next Life (2007), which was selected by the New York Times as one of the most notable books of 2007.

Part of the first generation of Language poets on the West Coast, her work has been praised for syntax that borders on everyday speech while grappling with questions of deception and distortion in both language and consciousness.

Armantrout's poetry has been widely anthologized, appearing in Language Poetries (New Directions), In The American Tree (National Poetry Foundation), Postmodern American Poetry (Norton), Poems for the Millennium, Vol. 2 (University of California), American Women Poets of the 21st Century (Wesleyan), and several editions of Best American Poetry. She is also the author of a prose memoir, True, which was published by Atelos in 1998. She has taught writing for almost twenty years at the University of California, San Diego.

About the Academy of American Poets

Now in its 80th year, the Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. The Academy connects millions of people to great poetry through programs such as Poets.org, one of the leading destinations for poetry online; National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world; American Poets, a biannual literary journal; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events. Since its founding in 1934, the Academy has awarded more money to poets than any other organization.