Wednesday, January 25, 2012

National Book Critics Circle Poetry Finalists are mostly from independent or university presses

Forrest Gander, Core Samples from the World (New Directions)
Aracelis Girmay, Kingdom Animalia (BOA Editions)
Laura Kasischke, Space, in Chains (Copper Canyon Press)
Yusef Komunyakaa, The Chameleon Couch (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
Bruce Smith, Devotions (University of Chicago Press)

This list shows further de-centralization of the publishing industry, with poetry, which is not at the top of the money pyramid, showing which presses are committed to this oldest artform. The NBCC writer Barbara Hoffert writes on the NBCC blog that all these poets demonstrate "a mastery of form while advancing their art." This is a good summary of judging guidelines, proficiency, but something beyond the expected. And poetry is about form more than other genres, not only subject matter. Winners will be announced March 8 in New York.