Results of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize in the year 1995.
In her seventh volume Marilyn Hacker confronts life and death at the end of our genocidal century, making another extraordinary contribution to the feminist and lesbian canon. Winter Numbers is pervaded by Hacker’s awareness of being an agent in history. The long opening poem, “Against Elegies,” is an impassioned meditation on the scourges of AIDS and cancer among the poet’s friends and contemporaries, and the parallel scourge of social indifference. Other erotically tinged elegies lead to the account of her own battle with breast cancer. Among the many necessary works on breast cancer, Hacker’s “Cancer Winter” will be cited for its affirmation, humor, and honesty. It received the John Masefield Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America and the B. F. Conners Award from the Paris Review.