New York, April 4— The Academy of American Poets is pleased to announce that Sally Van Doren has been selected as the recipient of the 2007 Walt Whitman Award. The Walt Whitman Award, given by the Academy of American Poets, is one of the most prestigious book contests in the country; it brings book publication to an American poet who has never before published a book of poetry and distributes the book to members of the Academy. The Whitman Award also carries a $5,000 cash prize and a one-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center.
Sally Van Doren received the Award for her book-length collection of poems Sex at Noon Taxes, which will be published in the spring of 2008 by Louisiana State University Press. The winning manuscript was chosen by August Kleinzahler from over 1,000 entries. Finalists for the Award were Jasper Bernes for A Moving Grove, James Allen Hall for Now You're the Enemy, and Maya Pindyck for The Same Nile, the Same Charles.
August Kleinzahler, on selecting Sally Van Doren's book, wrote:
Sally Van Doren's poetry gathered in Sex At Noon Taxes, both a palindrome and the title of a painting by Ed Ruscha, is everywhere alive. There are no dead moments, no fill: even the conjunctions, prepositions and assorted connectives carry a charge. The language is alive. The movement of language is alive. The mind at work here is at all points quick, full of play and bite. …Her poems are delicately made, intriguing in conception, unpredictable, balletic and swift in their turns, altogether most stimulating and memorable, and very much her own.
Sally Van Doren was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Her poems have appeared in several journals, including Barrow Street, Boulevard, Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, LIT, Margie, Parthenon West Review, Poetry Daily, and Pool. She is a graduate of Princeton University and received an M.F.A. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She was a semi-finalist in the
2006 "Discovery"/The Nation Poetry Contest. Her poem, "The Sense Series," was the text for a multi-media performance at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis in February 2007. She teaches for Springboard to Learning in the St. Louis Public Schools and curates the Sunday Poetry Workshops for the St. Louis Poetry Center. She divides her time between St. Louis and Cornwall, Connecticut.
August Kleinzahler was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1949, and raised in Fort Lee, New Jersey. He is the author of ten books of poetry, including, The Strange Hours Travelers Keep (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004), winner of the International Griffin Poetry Prize; Live from the Hong Kong Nile Club: Poems: 1975-1990 (2000); Green Sees Things in Waves (1999); and Red Sauce, Whiskey and Snow (1995). He is also the author of the meditative memoir Cutty, One Rock: Low Characters and Strange Places, Gently Explained (2004). His honors
include a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lila Acheson-Reader's Digest Award for Poetry, an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Berlin Prize Fellowship. Kleinzahler has lived in San Francisco, California, for over twenty years. He has held a variety of jobs, including working as a locksmith, cabdriver, lumberjack, music critic, and building manager. While living in Alaska, he designed educational kits for native children at the Alaska State Museum. He has taught writing at Brown University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, as well workshops for homeless veterans in the Bay Area.
The Walt Whitman Award
The Walt Whitman Award, established in 1975, makes possible the publication of a poet's first full-length collection. This annual competition is judged by a distinguished poet and is open to any citizen of the United States who has neither published nor committed to publish a book of poetry. Book-length manuscripts may be submitted to the Academy between September 15 and November 15 of each year. An entry form and fee are required. For guidelines and an entry form, visit the Academy of American Poets' website, www.poets.org/whitman, or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Academy in August.
The Academy of American Poets
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 over three generations, the Academy has connected millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary
celebration in the world; Poets.org, the most popular site about poetry on the web, presenting a wealth of great poems, audio recordings, poet biographies, essays, and interactive discussions about poetry; the Poetry Audio Archive, capturing the voices of contemporary American poets for generations to come; American Poet, a biannual literary journal; and our annual series of poetry readings and special events. The Academy also awards prizes to accomplished poets at all stages of their careers—from hundreds of student prizes at colleges nationwide to the Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement in the art of poetry. For more information, visit www.poets.org.
Louisiana State University Press
Established in 1935, Louisiana State University Press is one of the oldest and largest university presses in the South and one of the outstanding publishers of scholarly and regional books in the country. Its long-standing commitment to publishing fine contemporary poetry extends back more than four decades. Since 1964 the Press has published more than 250 books of poetry by more than 100 poets, and many of these volumes have received such honors as the Lamont Poetry Selection, the National Book Critics' Circle Award, the Poets' Prize, the American Book Award, the National Book Award, and Pulitzer Prizes.
The Vermont Studio Center
The Vermont Studio Center offers four-to-twelve-week studio residencies year-round to mid-career poets, painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers, and writers. The setting is the banks of the Gihon River in rural Johnson, Vermont, a town of 2,500 located in the heart of the northern Green Mountains. Each Studio Center Residency features abundant working time, the companionship of fifty artists and writers from across the country and around the world, and access to a roster of prominent visiting artists and writers. All residencies include comfortable housing, private studio space, and superb food. Two visiting writers per month are in residence at the Studio Center for one week each to offer readings, a craft talk, and optional conferences with each of the twelve writing residents.