Annal: 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry

Results of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the year 2001.

Book:The Beauty of the Husband

The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos

Anne Carson

The Beauty Of The Husband is an essay on Keats’s idea that beauty is truth, and is also the story of a marriage. It is told in 29 tangos. A tango (like a marriage) is something you have to dance to the end.

This clear-eyed, brutal, moving, darkly funny book tells a single story in an immediate, accessible voice–29 “tangos” of narrative verse that take us vividly through erotic, painful, and heartbreaking scenes from a long-time marriage that falls apart. Only award-winning poet Anne Carson could create a work that takes on the oldest of lyrical subjects—love—and make it this powerful, this fresh, this devastating.

Book:Felt

Felt: Poems

Alice Fulton

In this groundbreaking collection, Alice Fulton weds her celebrated linguistic freshness to a fierce emotional depth. Felt—a fabric made of tangled fibers—becomes a metaphor for the interweavings of humans, animals, and planet. But Felt is also the past tense of “feel.” This is a book of emotions both ordinary and untoward: the shadings of humiliation, obsession, love, and loneliness—as well as states so subtle they have yet to be named.

Reticent and passionate, elliptical yet avaiable, Fulton’s poems consider flaws and failure, touching and not touching. They are fascinated with proximity: the painter’s closeness to the canvas, the human kinship with animals, the fan’s nearness to the star.

Privacy, the opening and closing of doors, is at the heart of these poems that sing the forms of solitude—the meanings…[more]

Book:Landscape with Chainsaw

Landscape with Chainsaw: Poems

James Lasdun

An exuberant and bold series of poems drawing on the poet’s life in the Catskill Mountains. Questions of exile and belonging figure prominently, as does the struggle to find a viable relationship with the natural world. In the chainsaw—the book’s central image—all manner of human traits are reflected with an intense, often comical brilliance.

Book:The Seven Ages

The Seven Ages

Louise Glück

Louise Glück has long practiced poetry as a species of clairvoyance. She began as Cassandra, at a distance, in league with the immortal; to read her books sequentially is to chart the oracle’s metamorphosis into unwilling vessel, reckless, mortal and crude. The Seven Ages is Glück’s ninth book, her strangest and most bold. In it she stares down her own death, and, in so doing, forces endless superimpositions of the possible on the impossible—an act that simultaneously defies and embraces the inevitable, and is, finally, mimetic. Over and over, at each wild leap or transformation, flames shoot up the reader’s spine.

Book:Song of the World Becoming

Song of the World Becoming: Poems, New and Collected, 1981-2001

Pattiann Rogers

This book collects all of Pattiann Rogers’s published work, plus 40 new poems. Her subject matter is at once broad—defining divinity, achieving serenity—and specific, as she sees with a keen eye “the neon needle of a damsel fly hovering and vanishing. Her poems are complex, multilayered confections … of detailed, whirling thought.”—Poetry Flash

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