Last Friday the Lannan Foundation announced that poet August Kleinzahler has won this year’s $150,000 Literary Award. Lannan Fellowships, each worth $100,000, were also awarded to poets Katie Ford and Ilya Kaminsky and fiction writers Charles D’Ambrosio and Glenn Patterson.
Kleinzahler is the author of the memoir Cutty, One Rock (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004) and ten books of poetry, including his most recent, Sleeping it Off in Rapid City (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008), and The Strange Hours Travelers Keep (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003), winner of the International Griffin Poetry Prize.
Katie Ford is the author of the poetry collections Colosseum (2008) and Deposition (2002), both published by Graywolf Press. Ilya Kaminsky, a native of the former Soviet Union, is the author of Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004). He is also the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, the Dorset Prize, and the Ruth Lilly Fellowship.
Charles D’Ambrosio has published three books of fiction. His latest, The Dead Fish Museum (Knopf, 2006), was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Glenn Patterson, born in Belfast, Ireland, is the author of seven novels, including The Third Party (Blackstaff Press, 2007).
The Lannan Foundation’s annual Literary Award honors writers who have made significant contributions to English-language literature while the fellowships recognize writers of distinctive literary merit who demonstrate potential for continued outstanding work. Since 1989, the organization has awarded 171 poets and writers with more than thirteen million dollars.
Candidates are recommended by an anonymous network of writers; final decisions are made by Lannan’s literary committee.
by Claudia La Rocco
In November, Farrar, Straus and Giroux will publish August Kleinzahler's eleventh book of poetry, The Strange Hours Travelers Keep. A loner and a traveler himself, Kleinzahler has avoided the cloistered life of academia for stints as a logger in British Columbia, a political commentator in Germany and, most recently, a music columnist for the San Diego Weekly Reader.