Saturday, January 12, 2008

National Book Critics Circle Awards

Congratulations to the finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Awards, which were announced tonight in San Francisco. A complete listing can be found at Critical Mass, the blog of the NBCC. I am embarrassed to note that the only finalist I have actually read (in any category) is Claire Tomalin's biography of Thomas Hardy, published by Penguin Press. I liked it.

The finalists in poetry are:

Mary Jo Bang, Elegy, Graywolf
Matthea Harvey, Modern Life, Graywolf
Michael O'Brien, Sleeping and Waking, Flood
Tom Pickard, The Ballad of Jamie Allan, Flood
Tadeusz Rozewicz, New Poems, Archipelago

I suppose I will be pulling for Mary Jo Bang in this category, because I met her once and rather liked her.

I've also met Matthea Harvey (she was a Fellow at Bread Loaf in 2002), and have read her previous books.


Blogger Mary A. Kaufman said...

Delighted to have found your blog site. Mary from

12:04 PM  
Blogger david dodd lee said...

Vote for Bang because you met her, Greg? Her book leans on the idea we should be sad over her son's untimely death and fails--it's oddly empty. And Harvey. Not bad.
But O'Brien and Pickard, stunning poets who are re-inventing language, or the different ways we perceive what IS through simple syntax, etc. These are what's truly amazing on this list, the less familiar beside the Bread Loaf
people. Flood Editions should get some kind of award for publishing the risky, exciting books they publish. I'm going for O'Brien
all the way . . . This stuff aside,
we're so looking forward to your visit at IUSB . . .

12:15 AM  
Blogger greg rappleye said...


Well, I don't have a vote. I said I was "pulling" for her to win because I like her. And as I also said, I haven't read her book (or sadly, any of the others).

I am not trying to wallow in my ignorance here, I am simply acknowledging it.

YES! I am very excited about the IUSB reading.

See you all soon.

5:03 AM  
Blogger greg rappleye said...

I meant "wallow"!

5:03 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Wow. Go Graywolf. I've seen Bang's work around, but not read her book (yet).

12:06 PM  
Blogger Keith Woodruff said...

DDL, how does he re-invent language? I don't really see it - though I have not read much of his work. Maybe it will come to me.

Re syntax: what I have read doesn't seem that much more than variations on Williams' cat stepping over the pot on the ledge with those hard enjambments, etc.

In those short, sweet, single-focused image or moments poems
he seems kind of derivative of Cid Corman and the like. Just not sure what makes him experimental.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Karen J. Weyant said...

Hi Greg -- Don't feel bad. I haven't read any of the nominations either -- the world of poetry is amazingly vast. However, this is a great list!

5:14 PM  

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