Harryette Mullen Receives Jackson Poetry Prize

New York, NY -- Poets & Writers, Inc. is pleased to announce that Harryette Mullen is the recipient of the fourth annual Jackson Poetry Prize. The $50,000 prize honors an American poet of exceptional talent who deserves wider recognition. The award is designed to provide what all poets need -- time and the encouragement to write.

Ms. Mullen was selected by three esteemed judges: the poets Fanny Howe, Ted Kooser, and C. K. Williams. There was no application process. Poets were nominated by a panel of their peers who will remain anonymous.

The judges described Ms. Mullen's poems as "brilliant and enigmatic, familiar and subversive. Like jewels, her poems are multifaceted and shoot off lights. Mullen uses the techniques of sound association, innuendo, and signifying, and this way makes the reader alert to the cunning of the English language."

Mullen's books include Recyclopedia (Graywolf, 2006), Blues Baby: Early Poems (Bucknell University Press, 2002), Muse & Drudge (Signing Horse Press, 1995), S*PeRM**K*T (Singing Horse Press, 1992), and Trimmings (Tender Button Books, 1991). Her book Sleeping with the Dictionary (University of California Press, 2002) was a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award in poetry. She teaches African-American literature, American poetry, and creative writing at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has earned degrees in English and in literature from the University of Texas, Austin, and the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The previous recipients of the Jackson Poetry Prize are Linda Gregg (2009), Tony Hoagland (2008), and Elizabeth Alexander (2007).

The Jackson Poetry Prize, which is sponsored by Poets & Writers, Inc., was made possible by a significant donation from the Liana Foundation and named for the John and Susan Jackson family.


Photo Credit: Hank Lazer