The Academy of American Poets announced last week that Henri Cole received the 2008 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for his collection Blackbird and Wolf (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). The $25,000 prize is given annually to honor a book of poetry published in United States in the previous year. Cole’s collection was selected by poets Lucie Brock-Broido, B. H. Fairchild, and John Koethe.
“Henri Cole has become one of his generation’s most assured and accomplished poets,” said Koethe. “And Blackbird and Wolf is a powerful and masterful book: powerful in the psychological directness of its self-scrutiny, and masterful in its achievement of a poetry so artful it almost seems artless.”
Born in Japan and raised in Virginia, Cole received his MFA from Columbia University in 1982. He teaches at Ohio State University.
Cole’s previous works are Middle Earth (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, The Visible Man (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998), The Look of Things (Knopf, 1995), The Zoo Wheel of Knowledge (Knopf, 1989), and The Marble Queen (Atheneum, 1986). He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the 2004 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the Rome Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship.
The Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, named for the late poet, writer, and political activist, was established in 1975. The prize is among several book awards and fellowships presented each year by the Academy of American Poets to recognize excellence in contemporary poetry.