The Academy of American Poets announced this afternoon that Anna Moschovakis has received its 2011 James Laughlin Prize. She receives the honor, which comes with a prize of five thousand dollars, for her second collection, You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake, published by Coffee House Press.
"Moschovakis boldly writes as though Plato had never kicked poets out of the Republic," says judge Brian Teare. "In You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake, she takes up the citizen's task of thinking through political and existential issues relevant to lives lived in increasing dependence on Internet access and globalization both."
Beneath their controlled and imperturbable surfaces, her poems perform the painful experience of the complicity with injustice that comes with citizenship—while lamenting colonization, opportunism, and capitalism, her poems search themselves for the common root of the urge toward empire, asking: 'Is it more than you would have done?'"
Teare was joined in the selection of the winning book by poets Juliana Spahr and Mónica de la Torre.
Moschovakis, who splits her time between New York City and the Catskills, is also an editor with the Ugly Duckling Presse publishing collective and a translator. Her first book is I Have Not Been Able to Get Through to Everyone (Turtle Point Press, 2006).
The Academy awards the James Laughlin Prize annually to recognize a second poetry collection.