Coming Tonight: the National Book Awards
By The Editors on 11.16.11
By tomorrow morning, the National Book Awards will have been announced and there will be only one poetry winner. But as of this afternoon, there are still five finalists: Tonight No Poetry Will Serve by Adrienne Rich, Head Off & Split by Nikky Finney, The Chameleon Couch by Yusef Komunyakaa, Double Shadow by Carl Phillips, and Devotions by Bruce Smith. For the first time ever the awards will be webcast live starting at 8:00 EST; you can watch them here. In the meantime, get in the mood with a selection from Adrienne Rich’s nominated book.
“Axel: backstory” Steam from a melting glacier your profile hovering there Axel as if we’d lain prone at fifteen on my attic bedroom floor elbow to elbow reading in Baltimorean August- blotted air Axel I’m back to you brother of strewn books of late hours drinking poetry scooped in both hands Dreamt you into existence, did I, boy- comrade who would love everything I loved Without my eyelash glittering piercing sidewise in your eye where would you have begun, Axel how would the wheel-spoke have whirled your mind? What word stirred in your mouth without my nipples’ fierce erection? our twixt-and-between Between us yet my part belonged to me and when we parted I left no part behind I knew how to make poetry happen Back to you Axel through the crackling heavy salvaged telephone