Annal: 1991 National Book Award for Poetry

Results of the National Book Award in the year 1991.

Book:What Work Is

What Work Is: Poems

Philip Levine

If there is such a thing as a working man’s poet, then Philip Levine is it. Born into a blue-collar family in Detroit, Levine grew up amidst the steel mills and auto factories of Motor City. Laboring in the plants radicalized both Levine’s politics and his art; in early works such as On the Edge and Not This Pig, he explored the gritty despair of urban working-class life, a reality that has continued to run through his later poetry as well. In his 1991 National Book Award-winning What Work Is, Levine revisits the scenes of his youth—only now…

Book:An Atlas of the Difficult World

An Atlas of the Difficult World: Poems 1988-1991

Adrienne Rich

“This is no place you ever knew me,” writes Adrienne Rich in her major new work, “…These are not the roads/you knew me by.” As always in her forty-year career, this major poet has mapped out new territory , astonishing and enlightening us with her penetrating insight into our lives amid the beauties and cruelties of our difficult world.

Book:Eva-Mary

Eva-Mary

Linda McCarriston

“This is an immensely moving book, fearless in its passion. Linda McCarriston accomplishes a near miracle, transforming memories of trauma into poems that are luminous and often sacramental, arriving at a hard-won peace.” —Lisel Mueller

Book:The Homeplace

The Homeplace

Marilyn Nelson Waniek

Marilyn Nelson Waniek is a teller of family tales whose black roots in the South quickly embrace us all. Maybe best, Waniek has the full range of a blues singer’s passion, from bitterness to joy, and she shows why in the right hands poetry’s cry of the heart is still strong and still fresh.

Book:The Never-Ending

The Never-Ending: New Poems

Andrew Hudgins

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