Debbie Urbanski‘s story “The Move” (32.1) was selected for New Stories from the Midwest 2012, guest edited by Rosellen Brown, with series editors Jason Lee Brown and Shanie Latham. It will be published by Indiana University Press.
Samar Farah Fitzgerald (32.1), whose story “Where Do You Go” was recently published in NER, has been awarded a fellowship of $5,000 from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Fellowships are awarded annually to artists residing in this state in recognition of creative excellence and to support their pursuit of artistic excellence.
For NPR, Gregory Orr chooses Jennifer Grotz‘s new collection, The Needle, as one of five best poetry books of 2011 in “Truth and Beauty: 2011’s Best American Poetry.” (Grotz’s poems “The Fog and “The Forest” appear in the current issue of NER.) Orr also recommends NER poetry editor C. Dale Young’s book Torn, because, as Orr writes, “no critic can refrain from recommending more books than he’s supposed to.”
One of the few things almost everyone can agree on about contemporary American poetry is that no one can agree on much. At present, poetry is a jumbled landscape, with no single, dominant style and few living figures whose importance is accepted in more than one or two of the art form’s tiny fiefdoms. Although some might find this state of affairs discouraging, I think there’s good reason to be optimistic — poetry often needs to undergo periods of confusion to achieve the clarity for which we’ll later remember it. Here are five books that suggest that even if American poetry isn’t entirely sure where it’s going, that doesn’t mean it’s gotten lost.
Tomás Q. Morin (32.2) is the winner of this year’s APR/Honickman First Book Prize for his manuscript A Larger Country. His book was chosen by this year’s guest judge, poet Tom Sleigh, who will also write an introduction for it.
Greg Wrenn (32.2) of San Francisco is the winner of the 2012 Brittingham Poetry Prize from the University of Wisconsin Press. His collection Centaur will be published by UW Press in 2013. Terrance Hayes selected the award winners.