Michael Dickman Receives the James Laughlin Award
Posted onAug 25 2010
$5,000 for an outstanding second book
New York, August 25—The Academy of American Poets announced today that Michael Dickman's collection Flies (Copper Canyon Press) was chosen by poets Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Major Jackson, and Michael Ryan to receive the 2010 James Laughlin Award, which gives $5,000 to the most outstanding second book by an American poet in the previous year. The award will be presented at the Academy's Awards Ceremony on October 29, as part of the fourth annual Poets Forum in New York City. Copper Canyon Press will publish Flies in May of 2011.
About the selection, Michael Ryan says:
"Hilarity transfiguring all that dread, manic overflow of powerful feeling, zero at the bone—Flies renders its desolation with singular invention and focus and figuration: the making of these poems makes them exhilarating."
Michael Dickman was born and raised in the working-class neighborhood of Lents in Portland, Oregon. His first book, The End of the West, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2009. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, The New Republic, and Field, among others. Dickman is the recipient of fellowships and residencies from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, and the Lannan Foundation. He has worked for years as a cook and has been active recently in the Writers in the Schools program.
Laure-Anne Bosselaar is the author of A New Hunger (Ausable Press, 2007), Small Gods of Grief (BOA Editions, 2001), and The Hour Between Dog and Wolf (1997). She has been awarded a fellowship from the Breadloaf Writers' Conference and was a Writer-in-Residence at Hamilton College and the Vermont Studio Center. Bosselaar has also edited numerous anthologies including, Never Before: Poems about First Experiences (Four Way Books, 2004),
and Night Out: Poems about Hotels, Motels, Restaurants and Bars (1997).
Major Jackson's new collection of poems is Holding Company (W.W. Norton, 2010). He is also the author of Hoops (2006), and Leaving Saturn (University of Georgia, 2002), which was the winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. Jackson served as a creative arts fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and as the Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. He is the Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor at the University of Vermont and a core faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars.
Michael Ryan's New and Selected Poems (Houghton Mifflin, 2004) received the Kingsley Tufts Award. His first book of poems, Threats Instead of Trees, was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Series of Younger Poets in 1974, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Ryan is also the author of In Winter (Holt, 1981), which was a National Poetry Series selection, and God Hunger (Viking Penguin, 1989) which received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Ryan's honors include a Whiting Writers Award, a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. He is currently a professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of California, Irvine.
The James Laughlin Award is given to commend and support a poet's second book of poetry. The award was established by a gift to the Academy from the Drue Heinz Trust in honor of the poet and publisher James Laughlin (1914–1997). As a sophomore at Harvard College, James Laughlin founded New Directions, one of the most important publishers of twentieth-century literature. Writers whose work has been published by New Directions include Franz Kafka, James Joyce, Denise Levertov, Henry Miller, Ezra Pound, Delmore Schwartz, Gertrude Stein, Tennessee Williams, and William Carlos Williams. Mr. Laughlin was the author of numerous books of fiction, essays, and poetry, including Collected Poems (Moyer Bell, 1993), The Man in the Wall (New Directions,1993), and Random Stories (Moyer Bell, 1990).
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.
The Drue Heinz Trust is a private charitable foundation directed by Drue Heinz, former Board member of the Academy of American Poets and the Paris Review. Mrs. Heinz and James Laughlin were long-time friends and colleagues, sharing a vital interest in good writing.