The Chancellors of the Academy named John Haines the recipient of the sixty-third Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement. The Fellowship carries a prize of $20,000 and fellows are nominated and elected by the Academy's Board of Chancellors, an advisory body of eminent poets. Chancellor Richard Howard wrote the following citation.
Nearly four decades of concentrated making, "anchored like a ghost in heavy chains," have afforded John Haines what is by now a distinctive resonance: his narrowly argued poems are wizened by opposing forces yet warmed by identifications of a shared human fate, and readers have come to cherish this clear voice, this clear vision. How gallantly images of acknowledged human defeat are shared with brother seers--with Goya and Rodin among them, Dürer and Delacroix, Hopper and Hartley, supremely at the end with Michelangelo!--yet how gravely the landscapes and weathers of his chosen North have made Haines's particular tract--that region of "the quelled and muttering life of stones"--into an Alaska of human intent as well as of the atlas. The choice of John Haines as this year's Academy Fellow appears, like his singular and inevitable poems, a phenomenon naturally made.