Awards

Poetry Center BOOK AWARD | | Frances Jaffer POETRY PRIZE | Academy of American Poets/Harold Taylor AWARD | Piri Thomas POETRY PRIZE | Browning Society AWARD |



Deadline for submission of 2013 books is January 31, 2014.

See GUIDELINES below.

PRESS RELEASE : SPRING 2013


The Poetry Center
is pleased to announce that Wanda Coleman's THE WORLD FALLS AWAY (University of Pittsburgh, 2011) has been selected by award judge Brenda Coultas to receive the annual Poetry Center Book Award

Coleman-The World Falls AwayThe Poetry Center Book Award has been presented annually by The Poetry Center, San Francisco State University since 1980 to a single outstanding book of poetry published in the previous year. The Poetry Center Book Award carries a cash prize and an invitation to read, along with the award judge, at The Poetry Center in San Francisco.


APRIL 4, 2013
Poetry Center Book Award Reading

for Wanda Coleman's The World Falls Away
Wanda Coleman and Brenda Coultas

4:30 pm @ the Poetry Center
HUM 512, SFSU, free



Brenda Coultas
on Wanda Coleman's The World Falls Away:

These are poems of the lifted voice. Fierce and tender by turns, The World Falls Away, by Wanda Coleman, is an outstanding collection of the work of a poet who is continuously expanding her range and speaking her truth. This reader has the sense that Coleman writes to stay alive, poetry is her heartbeat and we find that beat embodied in her rude and eloquent language.

Everything is at stake in these poems: the death of a son, reckoning with one's mortality and fate, the past and the present moment, the racial balance of East Los Angeles and language. Especially language, high and low, that she celebrates and polishes into brilliant blues. In "Where My Blues Done Gone" Coleman writes, "yonder down under and gone / dabbling around with and fiercely dangling / across the tracks drinking clabber with hardtack." The vernacular turns elegiac, and she works it to create a bittersweet juice.

This collection crackles and hums with elegy and anger, autobiography and essay, both veiled and direct. Her arguments are proved with soft shifts in tone, from vulnerability to an uneasy beauty. She is a poet of the night who found salvation in books and writing; however, in "I Followed My Dream" she describes the price one pays to follow dreams of poetry " at the end of it was a man who told me that supporting me was an act of forced labor."

Balanced between page and performance,Wanda Coleman is and remains a force. Anyone who has ever heard her read can attest to a riveting stage presence. At the conclusion of "Lioness," she writes:

hear her prowl beyond the undergrowth

eternal against unseen teemings and writhings

know it all matters. know the roar goes on.


Like a luminous phosphorus, The World Falls Away glows long after setting the pages down.

* *

WANDA COLEMAN was born in the Watts community of Los Angeles on November 13, 1946. Her twenty-two books include Bathwater Wine, winner of the 1999 Lenore Marshall Prize, and Mercurochrome (2001), finalist for the National Book Award. With the retirement of Black Sparrow Press (now Black Sparrow Books, imprint, David R. Godine, Inc.), her poetry, Ostinato Vamps (2003) and The World Falls Away (2011), is published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. She was the 2012 recipient of the Shelley Memorial Award, presented annually by the Poetry Society of America to a living American poet selected by a jury of poets with reference to his or her genius and need.

BRENDA COULTAS is the author of The Marvelous Bones of Time (2008) and A Handmade Museum (2003) from Coffee House Press, which won the Norma Farber Award from The Poetry Society of America, and a Greenwall Fund publishing grant from the Academy of American Poets. She has received a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship (NYFA) and a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council residency (LMCC). Coultas has served as visiting poet at Long Island University in Brooklyn New York. Her poetry can be found in The Brooklyn Rail, Witness and Court Green. Last summer she competed an artist’s residency at the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice Italy and at the Millay Colony in Austerliz, New York. The Tatters, a collection of poetry, is forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press in 2014.

 

The Poetry Center Book Award

The Poetry Center Book Award has been presented annually since 1980 by The Poetry Center, San Francisco State University, to a single outstanding book of poetry published in the prior year. The Poetry Center Book Award carries a cash prize and an invitation to read, along with the award judge, at The Poetry Center in San Francisco.

POETRY CENTER BOOK AWARD, 1980-2011

Guidelines

The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University seeks submissions for the annual Poetry Center Book Award.

Deadline for submission of 2013 books is January 31, 2014.

Entrees will be accepted for the 2013 award from JULY 1, 2013 thru JANUARY 31, 2014.

Published original books by a single author (no collaborative works, anthologies, translations, or manuscripts) must be copyrighted 2013. Entrees can be submitted by publisher, author, or by a reader.

An entry fee of $10 per book (all of which goes directly to the benefit of the award winner and award judge) must accompany each book.

Please include a cover letter indicating the author's name, book title(s), name of person or publisher issuing check, and check number.

Checks should be payable to The Poetry Center and entrees mailed to:

The Poetry Center/SFSU
2010 Book Award
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco CA 94132

The judge for the award will not be announced in advance.

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