The National Poetry Series has announced the 2011 winners of its Open Competition, the annual contest for books by poets at any stage in their career. The five writers, representing both coasts and three Midwestern states, will receive one thousand dollars each and publication of their manuscripts by participating publishers.
This year Penguin Books judge Lucie Brock-Broido chose With Venom and Wonder by Julianne Buchsbaum of Lawrence, Kansas. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop who is currently a university librarian, Buchsbaum is also the author of A Little Night Comes (Del Sol Press, 2005) and Slowly, Slowly, Horses (Ausable Press, 2001).
Bernadette Mayer selected Chicago poet Hannah Gamble's debut, Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast, for publication by Fence Books. Gamble's poems have appeared previously in journals such as Indiana Review, Mid-American Review, and Ecotone, which originally published the title poem from her forthcoming book (reprinted on the web forum As it Ought to Be).
For Coffee House Press, Ange Mlinko selected Green Is for World by Juliana Leslie of Santa Cruz, California. Leslie is also the author of More Radiant Signals, published in 2010 by Letter Machine Editions.
Patricia Smith chose New York City poet (and translator) Idra Novey's second collection, Exit Civilian, for publication by University of Georgia Press. Novey's first book is In the Next Country, which won the Kinereth Gensler Award from Alice James Books in 2007. Her translations from the Spanish and Potuguese include On Elegance While Sleeping by Viscount Lascano Tegui (Dalkey Archive Press, 2010), Birds for a Demolition by Manoel de Barros (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2010), and The Clean Shirt of It by Paulo Henriques Britto (BOA Editions, 2007).
D. A. Powell selected Marcus Wicker's first book, Maybe the Saddest Thing, for publication by HarperCollins. The Ann Arbor, Michigan, poet, a Cave Canem fellow who was recently a resident poet at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, has published work in DIAGRAM, jubilat, and Ninth Letter, among other journals.
The five winning books will be released by their respective publishers next summer. The deadline for next year's prize will be announced later this year.
In the video below, Wicker reads poems, including one from a series of love letters to his "secret heroes," at Cave Canem's annual retreat for fellows.