New York, October 1—The Academy of American Poets announced today that Linda Gregg's All of It Singing (Graywolf Press) was chosen by poets Dorianne Laux, J. D. McClatchy, and James Richardson to receive the 2009 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, which awards $25,000 to the most outstanding book of poetry published in the previous year.
About Gregg's winning book, judge James Richardson remarked:
Linda Gregg's work blends passion and solitude, force and quiet. For thirty years she has written poems with the archaic and exhilarating simplicity of the first poem.
Linda Gregg was born in Suffern, New York, and grew up in Marin County, California. She received her B.A. and M.A. from San Francisco State University. Her first book of poems, Too Bright to See, was published in 1981. She has published a number of other poetry collections, including In the Middle Distance (Graywolf Press, 2006), Things and Flesh (1999), Chosen by the Lion (1994), The Sacraments of Desire (1991), Alma (1985), and Eight Poems (1982).
Gregg's honors include the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Foundation Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Whiting Writer's Award, the Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers, as well as multiple Pushcart Prizes. She was the 2003 winner of the Sara Teasdale Award and the 2006 PEN/Voelcker Award winner for Poetry.
About writing poetry, Linda Gregg says:
It is crucial that a poet see when she or he is not looking—just as she must write when she is not writing. To write just because the poet wants to write is natural, but to learn to see is a blessing. The art of finding in poetry is the art of marrying the sacred to the world, the invisible to the human.
Gregg has taught at Princeton University, Columbia University, the University of Iowa and the University of California at Berkeley. She lives in New York City.
Dorianne Laux's fourth book of poems, Facts about the Moon (W.W. Norton, 2007), received the Oregon Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Laux is also the author of Awake (1990), What We Carry (1994), and Smoke (2000) from BOA Editions, as well as Superman: The Chapbook (2008) and Dark Charms (2009), both from Red Dragonfly Press. She teaches at North Carolina State University.
J. D. McClatchy is the author of six books of poems. His new collection, Mercury Dressing, has recently been published by Knopf. He has also written three collections of essays, including American Writers at Home (2004), edited dozens of other books, and written many librettos for operas performed around the world in such houses as La Scala, and the Metropolitan Opera. He teaches at Yale, edits The Yale Review, and is President of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
James Richardson's most recent books are Interglacial: New and Selected Poems and Aphorisms (Ausable Press, 2004), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays (Ausable Press, 2001). His collection By the Numbers will be published by Copper Canyon Press in 2010. He is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Princeton University.
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; 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.