Congratulations to the Winner of the 2009 Wabash Prize for Poetry

BY DANA BISIGNANI, Wabash Prize Coordinator

After careful consideration, Mark Doty selected Lizzie Hutton’s poem “Rose Gold and Poppies” as this year’s winner. Mr. Doty was impressed with the poem’s technique of “jump-cutting between two moments in the speaker’s life, creating a lush field of intersecting terms and building a meditation on the vexed and provocative relationship between things and their names.” Ms. Hutton’s poem will be showcased in our upcoming issue, 22.1, due out in mid-January.

In addition to this year’s winner, we would also like to recognize the two finalists selected by our judge. Reflecting on Jude Nutter’s poem “Triptych,” Mr. Doty notes the way in which “the ‘central panel’ of the poem’s three-part sequence enlarges and energizes the poem by turning away from the landscape of parts one and three toward a memory of an encounter with animal life.” Our second finalist was Rita Mae Reese. Of her poem, Mr. Doty writes that “’The Alphabet Conspiracy’ artfully addresses itself to the way children are taught to enter—and then trapped by—a world constructed of language.” Congratulations to all three of our poets selected by this year’s discerning judge.

Issue 22.1 will include the prize-winning poem and both runners-up, as well as interviews with award-winning poets Rita Dove and Carl Phillips. If you are interested, please see the subscription page.

Thank you to all who submitted to the 2009 Wabash Prize for Poetry. We hope that you will consider submitting your work to the Wabash Prize for Poetry in Fall 2010.