Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Three of the five books nominated for the 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry were written by Workshop authors: Mars Being Red, by Marvin Bell (MFA 1969), The Kitchen Sink: New and Selected Poems, 1972-2007, by Albert Goldbarth (MFA 1971), and Old Heart: Poems, by Stanley Plumly. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Los Angeles on April 25th.
Marvin Bell is an emeritus faculty for the Writers' Workshop; he recently retired after teaching poetry writing here for over thirty years. Copper Canyon Press, Bell's long-time publisher, describes Mars Being Red, as his "most political book . . . and one of his most beautiful." Bell read extensively from Mars Being Red on WSUI's Live from Prairie Lights in October 2007, and the recording is available online.
The poems collected in The Kitchen Sink: New and Selected Poems, 1972-2007 span the forty-five years since Albert Goldbarth graduated from the Workshop in 1971. In a recent review in the Los Angeles Times, Eloise Klein Healy noted, "Goldbarth's project as a poet has been to write expansively about everything -- and usually all at once," declaring that The Kitchen Sink is "a great place to get acquainted with a wildly inventive poet."
Stanley Plumly taught poetry writing at the Writers' Workshop and edited The Iowa Review from 1976 to 1978. Old Heart, his eighth book of poems, was also nominated for the 2007 National Book Award.