New York, May 5, 2004--The Academy of American Poets is pleased to announce that Geri Doran has won the 2004 Walt Whitman Award for her first book-length collection of poems, Resin, which will be published in the spring of 2005. The winning manuscript was chosen by Henri Cole from over 1250 entries in an open competition. The Academy of American Poets has awarded Ms. Doran a $5,000 cash prize and will purchase copies of her book for distribution to its members. She will also receive a one-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center. Finalists for the prize were Aaron Baker, Carol Ann Davis, K.E. Duffin, Robin Ekiss, Rodney Jack, Sandy Longhorn, Wayne Miller, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, and David Woo.
On selecting Geri Doran's manuscript for the award, Henri Cole wrote:
In her remarkable first book, Resin, Geri Doran transforms the viscous substance of life into the amber liquid of poetry. Her poems--intelligent, restrained, sorrowful--appear engraved by a master's hand.
Geri Doran grew up in northwestern Montana. She received a bachelor's degree from Vassar College and a master of fine arts from the University of Florida and also attended the University of Michigan and Clare College, Cambridge. Most recently, she was a Wallece Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford. She now works for the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, California, and lives near the beach in Pacifica. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Atlantic Monthly, New England Review, The New Republic, TriQuarterly, 32 Poems, and the Virginia Quarterly Review.
Henri Cole was born in Fukuoka, Japan, in 1956 and raised in Virginia. He received his B.A. from the College of William and Mary in 1978, his M.A. from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee in 1980, and his M.F.A. from Columbia University in 1982. His volumes of poetry include: Middle Earth (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003), The Visible Man (1998), The Look of Things (1995), The Zoo Wheel of Knowledge (1989), and The Marble Queen (1986). Cole's awards and honors include the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the Berlin Prize of the American Academy in Berlin, the Rome Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. From 1982 until 1988 he was executive director of The Academy of American Poets. Since then he has held many teaching positions and been the artist-in-residence at various institutions, including Brandeis, Columbia, Harvard, and Yale Universities, and Reed College. Cole is currently poet-in-residence at Smith College.
The Academy of American Poets is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1934 to foster appreciation for contemporary poetry and to support American poets at all stages of their careers. For more information on the Academy and its programs, visit www.poets.org.