Linda Gregg Awarded Jackson Poetry Prize

New York City - Poets & Writers, Inc., is pleased to announce that Linda Gregg is the recipient of the third annual Jackson Poetry Prize. The $50,000 prize honors an American poet of exceptional talent who has published at least one book of recognized literary merit but has not yet received major national acclaim. The award is designed to provide what all poets need - time and the encouragement to write.

Ms. Gregg was selected by three esteemed judges: the poets Brenda Hillman, Edward Hirsch, and Charles Simic. There was no application process. Poets were nominated by a panel of their peers who will remain anonymous. The judges described Ms. Gregg’s poems as “charting human emotion at its most risky, leading the reader at times into a metaphysical or mystical utterance, and at times into a plain-spoken observation of a human world. Her poems are wise and beautiful.”

Gregg’s books include All of It Singing (2008), In the Middle Distance (2006), Things and Flesh (1999), Chosen by the Lion (1994), The Sacraments of Desire (1991), Alma (1985), Eight Poems (1982) and Too Bright to See (1981), all published by Graywolf Press. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Foundation Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Whiting Writer’s Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, and multiple Pushcart Prizes. Gregg has taught at the University of Iowa, Columbia University, and the University of California at Berkeley. She currently lives in New York and teaches at Princeton University. She received her B.A. and M.A. from San Francisco State University.

Tony Hoagland received the Jackson Poetry Prize last year, and in 2007, Elizabeth Alexander was selected as the inaugural recipient of the prize. Ms. Alexander became only the fourth poet in history to read at a presidential inauguration when she read her poem “Praise Song for the Day” at the inauguration of president Barack Obama in January.

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: Hal Lum)