Annal: 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

Results of the Pulitzer Prize in the year 2005.

Book:Delights and Shadows

Delights and Shadows

Ted Kooser

Ted Kooser is a master of metaphor, a poet who deftly connects disparate elements of the world and communicates with absolute precision. Critics call him a “haiku-like imagist” and his poems have been compared to Chekov’s short stories. In Delights and Shadows, Kooser draws inspiration from the overlooked details of daily life. Quotidian objects like a pegboard, creamed corn and a forgotten salesman’s trophy help reveal the remarkable in what before was a merely ordinary world.

“Kooser documents the dignities, habits and small griefs of daily life, our hunger for connection, our struggle to find balance.”—Poetry

Book:The Orchard

The Orchard

Brigit Pegeen Kelly

Richly allusive, the poems in Brigit Pegeen Kelly’s The Orchard evoke elements of myth in distinctive aural and rhythmic patterns. Her poetic strength lies in her ability to cast poems as modern myths and allegories. Propelled by patterned repetitions and lush cadences, the poems move the reader through a landscape where waking and dream consciousness fuse.

Book:Search Party

Search Party: Collected Poems

William Matthews, Sebastian Matthews, Stanley Plumly

When William Matthews died of a heart attack in 1997, the day after his fifty-fifth birthday, America lost one of its most important poets, one whose humor and wit were balanced by deep emotion, whose off-the-cuff inventiveness belied the acuity of his verse.

With Search Party, his son Sebastian and his friend and fellow poet Stanley Plumly have brought together a collection drawing from all of Matthews’s previously published work as well as twenty-three never-before-published poems. Here are meditations on relationships, work, family life, and, of course, jazz: “I love the smoky libidinal murmur / of a jazz crowd…/ I like to slouch back / with that I’ll-be-here-awhile tilt.” Pleasure is abundant in these poems: music, wine, love, and language are, for Matthews, the necessary consolations for life’s suffering.

Full of as much wisdom and song as heartbreak and loss, Search Party will bring a wider reading audience to this “poet of experience” and his benedictions of everyday life.

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