New York, September 22, 2004--The Academy of American Poets and The Nation magazine are pleased to announce the finalists for the 2004 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:

The Blue Hour by Carolyn Forché (HarperCollins)
The Blaze of the Poui by Mark McMorris (University of Georgia Press)
My Mojave by Donald Revell (Alice James Books)
Otherhood by Reginald Shepherd (University of Pittsburgh Press)
Blindsight by Rosemarie Waldrop (New Directions)

The winner of the prize will be announced in November. The judges for this year's contest are Forrest Gander, Brenda Hillman, and Harryette Mullen. An essay by Brenda Hillman 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, Adrienne Rich, Michael Ryan, George Starbuck, Allen Tate, 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 more information on the Academy and its programs, visit