Mary Ruefle has won the Poetry Society of America’s 2011 William Carlos Williams Award for her Selected Poems (reviewed here by Jennifer H. Fortin). The prize is given annually to an outstanding book of poetry. Other finalists included Timothy Donnelly for The Cloud Corporation, Kathleen Graber for The Eternal City, and Ange Mlinko for Shoulder Season. You can read about all four books in our Top 30 Poetry Books of 2010 and 2010 Year in Review.
Both Ruefle’s and Donnelly’s books were published by Wave Books in 2010. Graber’s book was published by Princeton University Press, and Mlinko’s was published by Coffee House Press.
In a citation on the PSA Web site, Rodney Jones writes, “What a civil, undomesticable, and heartening poet is Mary Ruefle: fond of experiment, but just as pleased to write of tilapia or county fairs; always novel, but never pandering to a mode; refusing neither the absurd nor the sublime. Any Ruefle poem is an occasion of resonant wit and language, subject to an exacting intelligence. For more than thirty years, she has freshened American poetry by humbly glorifying both the inner life and the outward experience. Her Selected Poems, like the work of William Carlos Williams, is a testimony not only to the power of artfulness, but to human empathy.”
More coverage of Mary Ruefle:
Jennifer H. Fortin reviews Selected Poems
Melinda Wilson reviews The Most of It
Matt Hart reviews Indeed I Was Please With the World
John Deming reviews A Little White Shadow