Annal: 1995 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry

Results of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the year 1995.

Book:The Inferno of Dante: A New Verse Translation

The Inferno of Dante: A New Verse Translation

Robert Pinsky

This widely praised version of Dante’s masterpiece, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award of the Academy of American Poets, is more idiomatic and approachable than its many predecessors. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Pinsky employs slant rhyme and near rhyme to preserve Dante’s terza rima form without distorting the flow of English idiom. The result is a clear and vigorous translation that is also unique, student-friendly, and faithful to the original: “A brilliant success,” as Bernard Knox wrote in The New York Review of Books.

Book:City of Salt

City of Salt

Gregory Orr

A reader unfamiliar with Orr’s work may be surprised, at first, by the richness of both action and visual detail that his succinct, spare poems convey. Lyricism can erupt in the midst of desolation.” —Boston Sunday Globe

Book:New and Selected Poems (Gary Soto)

New and Selected Poems

Gary Soto

For over two decades, the award-winning poet and author Gary Soto has been offering his readers a vision that transcends the ordinary, making him one of today's most celebrated Chicano writers. New and Selected Poems includes the best of his seven full-length collections, plus over 23 new poems previously unpublished in book form. From the charged, short-lined poems of Soto's early writing to an unflinching look at poverty and hard labor in California's Central Valley to the off-beat humor in his longer, more recent work, New and Selected Poems is a timely tribute to a brilliant writer whose work confirms the power of the human spirit to survive and soar.

Book:Song

Song: Poems

Brigit Pegeen Kelly

Brigit Pegeen Kelly writes a lyrical, surreal poetry that flies toward the magical. Informed by a spiritual vision, her poems sweep us into new relationships, as the darkness that “doesn’t come down, but rises up…. It gets the ankles first. It circles/ The ankles like flood water gradually filling/The basement of a house. Dark water full/ Of unnameable things.”

Book:Split Horizon

Split Horizon: Poems

Thomas Lux

Thomas Lux is the author of such books as Sunday, Half Promised Land, and The Drowned River. His poetry has been steadily growing and penetrating deeper into the plain-spoken, saturnine, witty language that he virtually invented. In his latest work, Lux’s level gaze, cool talk, weird rhythms, and quirky humor place him in a special territory—entirely original—of contemporary American poetry. These new poems, like the book itself, have unusual titles (“Loudmouth Soup,” “Virgule,” “Each Startled Touch Returns the Touch Unstartled”) and circle around their subjects in strange ways, most often dealing with the lonely oddity of the individual in a society that inflexibly ignores individuality.

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