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Donald Revell Receives 2004 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize

 

New York, October 19, 2004--The Academy of American Poets and The Nation magazine announced today that Donald Revell's My Mojave (Alice James Books, 2003) has been selected for the 2004 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. The Lenore Marshall Prize is an annual award of $25,000 for the most outstanding book of poetry published in the United States in the previous year. Mr. Revell's book was chosen from more than 160 submissions. The jurors for the award were Forrest Gander, Brenda Hillman and Harryette Mullen.

Brenda Hillman, in her judges' citation, wrote:

In lines that are spare and strange, elegant and sorrowing, witty and linguistically innovative, My Mojave combines an Emersonian sweetness with postmodern practice. As part of a lyric experimental tradition, My Mojave is also balkily anti-lyric, interrupting its most flowing effects on purpose. Drawing on the terms of late modernist enterprise to re-invent and re-use poetic form as an indicator of consciousness, Revell brings to us descriptions of the natural world, songlike fragments, declarations that resemble riddles, and musings on poetry and the soul.

An essay by Ms. Hillman on the award-winning collection, and a selection of Mr. Revell's poems, will appear in The Nation.

Donald Revell was born in the Bronx in 1954. A graduate of SUNY-Binghamton and SUNY- Buffalo, he has taught at the Universities of Tennessee, Missouri, Iowa, Alabama and Denver. Since 1994, he has been a Professor of English at the University of Utah where he now serves as Director of Creative Writing. Editor of Denver Quarterly from 1988-94, he has been a poetry editor of Colorado Review since 1996. Revell is the author of eight collections of poetry: My Mojave (Alice James, 2003); Arcady (Wesleyan, 2002); There Are Three (Wesleyan, 1998); Beautiful Shirt (Wesleyan, 1994); Erasures (Wesleyan, 1992); New Dark Ages (Wesleyan, 1990); The Gaza of Winter (University of Georgia Press, 1988); and From the Abandoned Cities (Harper & Row, 1983). He has also translated two volumes of the poetry of Guillaume Apollinaire: Alcools (1995) and The Self-Dismembered Man: Selected Later Poems (2004), both from Wesleyan. His honors include a Pushcart Prize, the Shestack Prize, the Gertrude Stein Award, the PEN Center USA Award for poetry, as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and from the Ingram Merrill and John Simon Guggenheim Memorial foundations. Donald Revell lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his wife, poet Claudia Keelan, and their son, Benjamin.

The Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize was established by the New Hope Foundation in 1975 and is now administered by The Academy of American Poets in conjunction with The Nation. The prize is named in honor of Lenore Marshall (1897-1971), a poet, novelist, essayist, and political activist. Lenore Marshall published three novels, three books of poetry, a collection of short stories, and selections from her notebooks. Her work also appeared in such distinguished literary magazines as The New Yorker, The Saturday Review, and Partisan Review. In 1956 she helped found the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, the citizens' organization that lobbied successfully for passage of the 1963 partial nuclear test ban treaty.

The Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize was first awarded in 1975 and has been given annually ever since. The previous winners are John Ashbery, Sterling A. Brown, Hayden Carruth, Wanda Coleman, Cid Corman, Madeline DeFrees, David Ferry, Thom Gunn, Marilyn Hacker, John Haines, Donald Hall, Fanny Howe, Josephine Jacobsen, Mark Jarman, Stanley Kunitz, Denise Levertov, Philip Levine, John Logan, Thomas McGrath, W. S. Merwin, Josephine Miles, Howard Moss, Robert Pinsky, Adrienne Rich, Michael Ryan, George Starbuck, Allen Tate, and Charles Wright.

The Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize is endowed by a gift to the Academy from the New Hope Foundation, which for more than forty years worked to support literature, the arts, and world peace.

about THE ACADEMY OF AMERICAN POETS

The Academy of American Poets was founded in 1934 to support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry. Through its awards program, the Academy awards well over $200,000 each year to individual poets. These awards include the Academy Fellowship, the Wallace Stevens Award, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the James Laughlin Award, the Walt Whitman Award, the Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Award, the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award, student poetry prizes at nearly 200 colleges and universities, and the American Poets Fund. The Academy also administers National Poetry Month (April), the Online Poetry Classroom, an the Poetry Audio Archive, and Poets.org, our award-winning website.

about THE NATION

The Nation, founded in 1865, is America's oldest weekly magazine. Well known as a journal of political analysis, The Nation also has a long and distinguished literary history. Such notable writers as Henry James, William James, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and James Russell Lowell were among its original contributors. Many poets have contributed to its pages, including T. S. Eliot, William Butler Yeats, Emily Dickinson, W. H. Auden, Wallace Stevens, Ezra Pound, Robert Frost, and Robert Lowell. Each year the magazine and the Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y co-sponsor "Discovery"/The Nation, an award for younger poets. The Nation first joined with the New Hope Foundation to present the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize in 1982. To find out more about The Nation and for excellent writing on politics, culture, books and the arts, go to www.thenation.com.

about ALICE JAMES BOOKS

Now in its thirty-first year, Alice James Books is a nonprofit cooperative poetry press. Named after Alice James--the sister of novelist Henry James and philosopher William James--whose fine journal and gift for writing were unrecognized within her lifetime, the press seeks out and publishes the best contemporary poetry by both established and beginning poets, with particular emphasis on involving poets in the publishing process. The press has received significant attention following the celebration of its thirtieth anniversary in 2003: "The spirit of discovery, of openness to talent wherever it is to be found, suggested by the collective's name, is at the heart of Alice James' mission, and this spirit has resulted in the extraordinary aesthetic diversity of the house's titles" (Arts & Letters: Journal of Contemporary Culture). Since 1994, the press has been affiliated with the University of Maine at Farmington.

One of the few presses in the country run collectively, the success of Alice James Books can be attributed to the enthusiastic commitment of its authors, staff, donors, and interns. The cooperative selects manuscripts for publication through both regional and national competitions: the New England/New York Award, and the Beatrice Hawley Award. Winners of regional awards become active cooperative members, judging future contests and participating in editorial and executive decisions. National awards do not carry a cooperative work commitment. For more information please visit www.alicejamesbooks.org.

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