$25,000 Award for Most Outstanding Book of Poetry

New York, August 29—The Academy of American Poets and The Nation magazine are pleased to announce the finalists for the 2006 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, a $25,000 award for the most outstanding book of poems published in the United States in the previous year. The finalists, chosen from more than 150 entries, are:

Christian Barter, The Singers I Prefer (CavanKerry Press)
Jack Gilbert, Refusing Heaven (Knopf)
Dorianne Laux, Facts About the Moon (W.W. Norton)
Eleanor Lerman, Our Post Soviet History Unfolds (Sarabande Books)
Ron Slate, The Incentive of the Maggot (Mariner Books)

The winner of the prize will be announced in November. The judges for this year’s contest are Carl Dennis, Tony Hoagland, and Carol Muske-Dukes. An essay by Tony Hoagland on the prize-winning collection will appear in The Nation, along with a selection of poems from the book. The Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize is endowed by a gift to the Academy of American poets from the New Hope Foundation, which for more than forty years worked to support world peace, literature, and the arts. The Nation first joined with the New Hope Foundation to present the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize in 1982.

Previous winners of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize include John Ashbery, Sterling A. Brown, Hayden Carruth, Wanda Coleman, Cid Corman, Madeline DeFrees, David Ferry, Eamon Grennan, 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, Donald Revell, Adrienne Rich, Michael Ryan, George Starbuck, Allen Tate, Anne Winters, and Charles Wright.

The Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize was established in 1975 by the New Hope Foundation in memory of Lenore Marshall (1897–1971), a poet, novelist, essayist, and political activist. Lenore Marshall was the author of three novels, three books of poetry, a collection of short stories, and selections from her notebooks. Her work also appeared in The New Yorker, The Saturday Review, Partisan Review, and other literary magazines. 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 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.

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. To find out more about The Nation visit www.thenation.com.