Jean Valentine won the 2004 National Book Award in poetry for Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965-2003 (Wesleyan University Press). She received $10,000. The finalists, each of whom received $1,000, were William Heyen for Shoah Train (Etruscan Press), Donald Justice for Collected Poems (Knopf), Carl Phillips for The Rest of Love (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), and Cole Swensen for Goest (Alice James Books).
Twenty percent of the 125 readers who responded to a recent Poets & Writers Magazine opinion poll thought Valentine would win the poetry award. Donald Justice, who died earlier this year, received nearly half of the votes.
Lily Tuck won the National Book Award in fiction for her novel The News From Paraguay (HarperCollins). The finalists were Sarah Shun-lien Bynum for Madeleine is Sleeping (Harcourt), Christine Schutt for Florida (TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press), Joan Silber for Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories (W.W. Norton), and Kate Walbert for Our Kind: A Novel in Stories (Scribner).