New York, March 17—The Academy of American Poets announces the release of The Helen Burns Poetry Anthology: New Voices, edited by Mark Doty. This, the ninth volume of the anthology, features emerging poets who received a University or College Prize from the Academy in the last ten years. Among the selected poets are, Francisco Aragon, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Jennifer Chang, Katie Ford, Alex Lemon, and Cate Marvin.
"Mark Doty has put together a selection of poems that includes so many poets I didn't know in my twenties, who are such important parts of my writing life now," says Gabrielle Calvocoressi. "He seems to have heard us all talking to each other before we knew we were. That's the mark of a great teacher and a great poet: to blaze a trail for us to come forward and to remind us of who we were."
Established in 1955 at ten schools, the University & College Prize program now sponsors over 200 annual prizes for poetry at colleges and universities nationwide. Many of America's most esteemed poets won their first recognition through an Academy prize, including Sylvia Plath, Louise Glück, Mark Strand, Jorie Graham, and the anthology's editor, Mark Doty.
"I was myself the recipient of one of these prizes, in 1971. I felt the good things that a prize makes a young poet feel: heartened, a little more brave, confirmed in the notion that...my private scratchings and fumblings might become, if I could find ways to shape them, something that could speak to someone else," says Doty.
The anthology honors Helen Burns, who served on the board of the Academy of American Poets from 1968 to 2000 and who worked tirelessly on behalf of American poetry, including a successful campaign to convince the U.S. Postmaster General's office that America should honor its best poets by featuring them on postage stamps.
The Academy will host a summer reading in New York City to celebrate the anthology's release with fifteen of the award winning poets. To purchase The Helen Burns Poetry Anthology: New Voices online, visit the Poetry Store.
About 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, 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 an 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.