2012 Pen Awards for Literature

So many worthy recipients here. Particularly happy to see Toi Derricote named. From their citation:

http://www.pen.org/page.php/prmID/1351

Toi Derricotte

The judges wrote in their citation:

“We are very proud to name Toi Derricotte the winner of this year’s PEN/Voelcker Award. Derricotte is the author of five books of poetry:The Undertaker’s Daughter; Tender; Captivity; Natural Birth; The Empress of the Death House; and the literary memoir, The Black Notebooks. Her poems carry both truth and a higher knowledge in scenes of everyday life, consistently depicted through taut language. And her voice is, at once, tender and unflinching. A voice that she has honed over her long career from poem to poem and book to book as she investigates a distinctly American psyche rendered by experiences of race, color, gender, and grief, however blatant, however nuanced. The poems remind readers that personal and societal histories intersect sometimes in the most brutal, the most tender, and the most surprising of ways. In Tender she writes, “‘At the still point of the turning world,’ the job of the artist is not to resolve or beautify, but to hold complexities, to see and make clear.” Derricotte’s poems push readers and practitioners into the hard work of seeing with rigor, intelligence, and grace. Her intellect and her imagination continue to forge new territory in the field of poetry, challenging what we think a poem might be and what we think it might do in the world.”

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Comments

  • sshaver  On September 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    The phrase “to hold complexities” reminds you of Frost, doesn’t it?

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