Will Schutt wins the Yale Younger Poets Prize 2012

Will Schutt has been awarded the Yale Younger Poets Prize 2012. Schutt’s volume Westerly will be published in Yale’s pioneering Younger Poets series next year.

Yale University Press is pleased to announce a winner in the 2012 Yale Younger Poets competition. The judge, prize-winning and critically acclaimed poet Carl Phillips, has chosen Will Schutt’s manuscript, Weaterly, which will be published by Yale as part of the Yale Series of Younger Poets in April 2013. The award-winning manuscript is Carl Phillips’s second selection as judge. His first selection, Eduardo C. Corral’s Slow Lightning, will be published by Yale University Press later this year.

Poet Will Schutt earned his BA from Oberlin College and his MFA from Hollins University. His poems and translations appear in Agni, FIELD, Harvard Review, The Southern Review and elsewhere. He lives with his wife in Wainscott, New York.

Awarded since 1919, the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize celebrates the most prominent new American poets by bringing the work of these artists to the attention of the larger public. Earlier winners of the prize include such talents as Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, and Robert Hass. It is the longest-running poetry prize in the United States.

Winners of the prize have their work published by Yale University Press in the Yale Series for Younger Poets imprint. Also, beginning with 2012’s award, winners will receive one of the five writing fellowships offered at The James Merrill House in Stonington, Connecticut (former home of the Pulitzer award-winning poet James Merrill). The fellowship provides a furnished living space and daily access to James Merrill’s apartment for a writer in search of a quiet setting to complete a project of literary or academic merit.

Previous winners of the Yale younger Poets Award include…

Slow lightning by Eduardo C. Corral

Slow lightning

Slow Lightning by Eduardo C. Corral
(2011 winner)

Corral was the first Latino poet to win the competition. Seamlessly braiding English and Spanish, Corral’s poems hurtle across literary and linguistic borders toward a lyricism that slows down experience. He employs a range of forms and phrasing, bringing the vivid particulars of his experiences as a Chicano and gay man to the page. Although Corral’s topics are decidedly sobering, contest judge Carl Phillips observed, “one of the more surprising possibilities offered in these poems is joy”. More

Radial Symmetry

Radial Symmetry

Radial Symmetry by Katherine Larson
(2010 winner)

With Radial Symmetry, Katherine Larson has created a transcendent body of poems that flourish in the liminal spaces that separate scientific inquiry from empathic knowledge, astute observation from sublime witness. Larson’s inventive lyrics lead the reader through vertiginous landscapes – geographical, phenomenological, psychological – while always remaining attendant to the speaker’s own fragile, creaturely self. An experienced research scientist and field ecologist, Larson dazzles with these sensuous and sophisticated poems, grappling with the powers of poetic imagination as well as the frightful realization of the human capacity for ecological destruction. The result is a profoundly moving collection: eloquent in its lament and celebration. More



Crush by Richard Siken
(2004 winner)

Richard Siken’s Crush is a powerful collection of poems driven by obsession. Siken writes with ferocity, and his reader hurtles unstoppably with him. His poetry is confessional, gay, savage, and charged with violent eroticism. In her introduction to the book, competition judge Louise Gluck hailed the “cumulative, driving, apocalyptic power, and purgatorial recklessness” of Siken’s poems. She noted, “Books of this kind dream big… They restore to poetry that sense of crucial moment and crucial utterance which may indeed be the great genius of the form.” Recently the Huffington Post enthusiastically reviewed Richard Siken’s Crush in an article looking at the very best works of contemporary poetry in the United States:

“Siken captures better than any other of his generation the borderlessness of eroticism (in this case, homoeroticism): filled with panicked, desperate, off-the-rails longing and obsession, up to paranoia, this collection captures the ease with which lust slips into various violences, slips into despair, slips into oblivion… The poems “swerve and rush” syntactically, a psychosis of passionate paralysis that permeates every line and stanza. Would that the legions of dispossessed youth who think today’s print-published poetry deaf to their strongest emotional convictions could read this book; Crush rebukes those critics who think sexy, dangerous, craving poetry can’t be rendered in a manner consistent with the very highest standards of art.” – Seth Abramson, The Huffington Post 

See the full list of book available in the Yale Series for Younger Poets.

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