Annal: 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

Results of the Pulitzer Prize in the year 2000.

Book:Repair

Repair: Poems

C.K. Williams

Repair is body work in C. K. Williams’s sensual poems, but it is also an imaginative treatment of the consternations that interrupt life’s easy narrative. National Book Critics Circle Award-winner Williams keeps the self in repair despite love, death, social disorder, and the secrets that separate and join intimates. These forty poems experiment with form but maintain what Alan Williamson has heralded Williams for having so steadily developed from French influences: “the poetry of the sentence.”

Book:Elegy for a Southern Drawl

Elegy for a Southern Drawl

Rodney Jones

A bawdy, witty revelation by an award-winning poet who celebrates the soul of the South in jest and in elegy. Exulting in the drawl of his native Alabama, Rodney Jones’s poems play out the life cycle of the young southern white male, from high school football games to first debauchery, from ignorance to self-understanding. Other poems speak of laying sewer pipe, of crows and sex, ink and raccoons, penises and perpetual motion machines. In many of these poems the southern drawl lives forever, riding on the tide of regional language, poking fun yet delighting in it. Jones dedicates other poems to poetry readings and English departments, to William Matthews, to Isaac Bashevis Singer, and to William Carlos Williams. His poems burst with wit, robust experience, and earthy intelligence. Awarded the AWP writing prize by Elizabeth Bishop and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, Rodney Jones is one of the most original poets in America.

Book:Midnight Salvage

Midnight Salvage: Poems 1995-1998

Adrienne Rich

“Look: with all my fear I’m here with you, trying what it means, to stand fast; what it means to move.” In these astonishing new poems, Adrienne Rich dares to look and to extend her poetic language as witness to the treasures-the midnight salvage-we rescue from fear and violence. Adrienne Rich’s work has long challenged social plausibilities built on violence and demoralizing power. In Midnight Salvage she continues her explorations at the end of the century, trying, as she has said, “to face the terrible with hope, in language as complex as necessary, as communicative as possible-a poetics which can work as antidote to complacency, self-involvement, and despair. I have wanted to assume a theater of voices rather than the restricted I. To write both for readers I know exist and those I can only imagine, finding their own salvaged beauty as I have found mine.” These are risky poems, infused with the cruelty of history, the presence of the body, the beauty of the natural world, with human love and longing.…[more]

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