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Winners of Yale’s Younger Poets Competition Will Read from Their Work


New Haven, Conn. — The five most recent winners of the prestigious Yale Series of Younger Poets competition will read from their work at the Whitney Humanities Center (WHC), 53 Wall Street, on May 2..

Free and open to the public, the event will take place 4 p.m. in WHC, Room 208.

Awarded since 1919, the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize celebrates the most prominent new American poets by bringing the work of previously unpublished artists to the attention of the larger public. Previous winners of the prize include such talents as Adrienne Rich, John Ashberry and Robert Hass. It is the longest-running poetry prize in the United States.

The event on May 2 will be introduced and moderated by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and former U.S. poet laureate Louise Glück. She is the Rosenkranz Writer-in-Residence at Yale and is also the current judge for the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition.

The featured poets for the event are Peter Streckfus, the 2003 award recipient; Richard Siken, 2004; Jay Hopler, 2005; Jessica Fisher, 2006; and Fady Joudah, the 2007 winner and most recent recipient of the prize. The poets will read from recent work.

Streckfus teaches creative writing at the University of Alabama. His prize-winning book, “The Cuckoo,” received much positive critical attention, including this from the Virginia Quarterly Review: “The pleasures in ‘The Cuckoo’ are many; Streckfus’s sense of humor is quite fetching, as are his social awareness lyrics... [A] promising debut collection.”

Siken’s book, “Crush,” for which he was awarded the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize, also received a Lambda Literary Award and the Thom Gunn Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. In a review in the literary journal Rain Taxi, his book was described as an “explosive, frantic splash of language and imagery.”

Hopler, who teaches at the University of South Florida and is the editor of a forthcoming anthology of poetry by younger Americans, is the author of the critically acclaimed collection of poems “Green Squall.” Publishers Weekly called the poems in “Green Squall” “truly stunning.”

Fisher recently received her doctorate in English from the University of California, Berkeley. The New Yorker called her book, “Frail-Craft,” “an intelligent, often playful collection.” Joudah is a medical doctor in Houston and a field member in the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders. His book, “The Earth in the Attic,” is, in the author’s own words, “a book of exile ... a metaphor for current psychic reality.”

The poetry reading is sponsored jointly by Yale University Press and the Whitney Humanities Center.


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