Big congratulations are in order for Peter Quartermain and James Maynard, the respective editors of Robert Duncan: The Collected Later Poems and Plays and Robert Duncan: Collected Essays and Other Prose. The two books received the Poetry Foundation’s prestigious 2014 Pegasus Award for Criticism. The annual award honors the best book-length works of criticism, including biographies, essay collections and critical editions that consider the subject of poetry or poets.
In their announcement, the Poetry Foundation writes, “These two critical editions represent a major achievement in textual scholarship, bringing together Duncan’s authoritative texts and unpublished works. The result is an extraordinary look into the development and evolution of Duncan’s distinct and groundbreaking poetics.”
Another UC Press book, The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia, edited by Garrett Caples, Nancy Joyce Peters and Andrew Joron, received an honorable mention for the award.
“I borrowed my boat from Rousseau, who describes, in Reveries of a Solitary Walker, floating aimlessly in a lake observing only the flickering of his consciousness in concert with the various patterns of afternoon–light, water, breeze, foliage. He calls this the pleasurable sensation of existing”, says poet Lisa Robertson.
In the interview, Robertson talked with Sina Queyras of the Poetry Foundation about her latest collection, R’s Boat, which evolved from the award-winning chapbook Rousseau’s Boat and from Robertson’s notebook archives. The author of six books, Robertson is known for her boldly original lyric poems, and sentences that Queyras describes as “densely, intellectually layered and imagistically condensed”. In R’s Boat, Robertson uses sentences to open the “caesura–the space between”, that she says differentiates poetry from prose, a space/time when “a thinking gathers, dissolves, moves.” This is where the sensation of Rousseau’s solitary boat ride awakens and washes over the reader.
Author Fanny Howe has received one of the highest honors in American poetry, the Poetry Foundation‘s 2009 Ruth Lilly Prize. One of literature’s largest awards, the $100,000 annual prize celebrates a living poet of exceptional lifetime achievement.
Howe is one of the world’s most eminent and experimental voices. She has published over 20 books, including several with UC Press: Gone: Poems (2003), The Wedding Dress: Meditations on Word and Life (2003), and Selected Poems (2000), which won the Gold Medal for Poetry from The Commonwealth Club of California and the 2001 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Howe also adapted Henia and Ilona Karmel’s poems in A Wall of Two (2007), and wrote the book’s introduction. Fanny Howe will be honored at the at the Pegasus Awards Ceremony in Chicago on May 19.