As you may remember from our April 3 National Poetry Month roundup, the announcement of the Pulitzer Prizes coincides with “the cruellest month.” On Monday, April 14, at 3 p.m. Eastern time (that’s noon Pacific time, for those of us following along at our desks on the left coast) the winners were announced from the prizes’ home base at Columbia University.
This year, the award for fiction went to Donna Tartt’s bildungsroman The Goldfinch, her third novel, which “follows a grieving boy’s entanglement with a small famous painting that has eluded destruction,” as blurbed on the Pulitzer website. Annie Baker’s play The Flick won for drama, Megan Marshall’s biography of Margaret Fuller took home the prize for biography/autobiography, and the winner for history went to Alan Taylor’s The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832. The winner for nonfiction is Dan Fagin’s Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation.
But, most importantly for our poetry callback, this year’s award for verse went to Vijay Seshadri for his book of poems 3 Sections, published by Graywolf Press. Seshadri’s third collection, it draws upon a range of poetic forms, from prose to lyric, in order to most deftly examine the internal psyche as it changes over time. For more information on the 2014 Pulitzer Prizes, visit pulitzer.org.
In local poetry news, Cuesta College is holding its 11th Annual Poetry in Translation event, with students and faculty from its English as a second language program. French symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé believed that poetry should always be read in its original form rather than in translation, whether or not the reader/hearer understands the language in which the poem was written. On April 17 at 7:30 p.m. you can hear the next best (or perhaps even better) thing—participants will read poems aloud in both English and their native language. The reading takes place in Dallons Hall, at Cuesta’s North County Campus.
And at SLOMA, the Friday Edition Poetry Series returns on Friday, April 18, at 7 p.m., featuring poets Marvin Sosna and Earl Smith. Tickets are $5 for general admission or $4 for students, and are available at the door. Stay lyrical, San Luis Obispo.