National Book Award for Poetry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The National Book Award for Poetry is one of five annual National Book Awards, which are given by the National Book Foundation to recognize outstanding literary work by US citizens. They are awards "by writers to writers".[1] The panelists are five "writers who are known to be doing great work in their genre or field".[2]

The category Poetry was established in 1950 and has been awarded annually save the period 1985 to 1990.[3]

The award recognizes one book written by a US citizen and published in the US from December 1 to November 30. The National Book Foundation accepts nominations from publishers until June 15, requires mailing nominated books to the panelists by August 1, and announces five finalists in October. The winner is announced on the day of the final ceremony in November. The award is $10,000 and a bronze sculpture; other finalists get $1000, a medal, and a citation written by the panel.[4]

There were 148 nominations for the 2010 award.[5]


The winner is listed first followed by the four other finalists (from 1987) or other runners-up.

2021[7] Desiree C Bailey What Noise Against the Cane
Martín Espada Floaters
Douglas Kearney Sho
Hoa Nguyen A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure
Jackie Wang The Sunflower Cast A Spell To Save Us From The Void
2020[8] Don Mee Choi DMZ Colony
Mei-mei Berssenbrugge A Treatise on Stars
Tommye Blount Fantasia for the Man in Blue
Anthony Cody Borderland Apocrypha
Natalie Diaz Postcolonial Love Poem
2019[9] Arthur Sze Sight Lines
Jericho Brown The Tradition
Toi Derricotte "I": New and Selected Poems
Ilya Kaminsky Deaf Republic
Carmen Giménez Smith Be Recorder
2018[10][11] Justin Phillip Reed Indecency
Rae Armantrout Wobble
Terrance Hayes American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
Diana Khoi Nguyen Ghost Of
Jenny Xie Eye Level
2017[12] Frank Bidart Half-light: Collected Poems 1965–2016
Leslie Harrison The Book of Endings
Layli Long Soldier "WHEREAS"
Shane McCrae "In the Language of My Captor"
Danez Smith "Don’t Call Us Dead"
2016[13] Daniel Borzutzky The Performance of Becoming Human
Rita Dove Collected Poems 1974 – 2004
Peter Gizzi Archeophonics
Jay Hopler The Abridged History of Rainfall
Solmaz Sharif Look
2015[14][15] Robin Coste Lewis Voyage of the Sable Venus
Ross Gay Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude
Terrance Hayes How to Be Drawn
Ada Limón Bright Dead Things
Patrick Phillips Elegy for a Broken Machine
2014[16] Louise Gluck Faithful and Virtuous Night[17]
Fanny Howe Second Childhood
Maureen N. McLane This Blue
Fred Moten The Feel Trio
Claudia Rankine Citizen
2013[18][19] Mary Szybist Incarnadine
Frank Bidart Metaphysical Dog
Lucie Brock-Broido Stay, Illusion
Adrian Matejka The Big Smoke
Matt Rasmussen Black Aperture
2012[20] David Ferry Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations[21][22]
Susan Wheeler Meme
Cynthia Huntington Heavenly Bodies
Tim Seibles Fast Animal
Alan Shapiro Night of the Republic
2011 Nikky Finney Head Off & Split: Poems
Yusef Komunyakaa The Chameleon Couch
Carl Phillips Double Shadow
Adrienne Rich Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems: 2007-2010
Bruce Smith Devotions
2010 Terrance Hayes Lighthead
Kathleen Graber The Eternal City
James Richardson By the Numbers
C.D. Wright One with Others
Monica Youn Ignatz
2009 Keith Waldrop Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy
Rae Armantrout Versed
Ann Lauterbach Or to Begin Again
Carl Phillips Speak Low
Lyrae van Clief-Stefanon Open Interval
2008 Mark Doty Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems
2007 Robert Hass Time and Materials: Poems, 1997–2005
2006 Nathaniel Mackey Splay Anthem
2005 W. S. Merwin Migration: New and Selected Poems
2004 Jean Valentine Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965-2003
2003 C. K. Williams The Singing
2002 Ruth Stone In the Next Galaxy
2001 Alan Dugan Poems Seven: New and Complete Poetry (vol 7 of seven)
2000 Lucille Clifton Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988–2000
1999 Ai Vice: New and Selected Poems
1998 Gerald Stern This Time: New and Selected Poems
1997 William Meredith Effort at Speech: New and Selected Poems
1996 Hayden Carruth Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey: Poems, 1991–1995
1995 Stanley Kunitz Passing Through: The Later Poems, New and Selected
1994 James Tate The Worshipful Company of Fletchers: Poems
1993 A. R. Ammons Garbage
1992 Mary Oliver New and Selected Poems (vol 1 of two)
1991 Philip Levine What Work Is
Andrew Hudgins The Never-Ending
Linda McCarriston Eva-Mary
Adrienne Rich An Atlas of the Difficult World: Poems 1988-1991
Marilyn Nelson Waniek The Homeplace: Poems
1987 The Poetry award and many others were eliminated from the program when it was revamped in 1984. It was restored in 1991, now for current-year publications, with a standard five finalists announced a few weeks prior to the main event.
Charles Wright Country Music: Selected Early Poems
1983 Galway Kinnell Selected Poems
1982 William Bronk Life Supports: New and Collected Poems
1981 Lisel Mueller The Need to Hold Still: Poems
1980 Philip Levine Ashes: Poems New and Old
1979 James Merrill Mirabell: Books of Number
1978 Howard Nemerov The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov
1977 Richard Eberhart Collected Poems, 1930-1976: including 43 new poems
1976 John Ashbery Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror
1975 Marilyn Hacker Presentation Piece
Adrienne Rich Diving into the Wreck: Poems 1971–1972
1974 Allen Ginsberg The Fall of America: Poems of These States, 1965-1971
1973 A. R. Ammons Collected Poems, 1951-1971
Howard Moss Selected Poems
1972 Frank O'Hara The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara (posth.)
1971 Mona Van Duyn To See, To Take: Poems
1970 Elizabeth Bishop The Complete Poems
1969 John Berryman His Toy, His Dream, His Rest
1968 Robert Bly The Light Around the Body
1967 James Merrill Nights and Days
1966 James Dickey Buckdancer's Choice: Poems
1965 Theodore Roethke The Far Field (posth.)
1964 John Crowe Ransom Selected Poems
1963 William Stafford Traveling Through the Dark
1962 Alan Dugan Poems (vol 1 of seven)
1961 Randall Jarrell The Woman at the Washington Zoo: Poems and Translations
1960 Robert Lowell Life Studies
1959 Theodore Roethke Words for the Wind: Poems of Theodore Roethke
1958 Robert Penn Warren Promises: Poems, 1954-1956
1957 Richard Wilbur Things of This World
1956 W. H. Auden The Shield of Achilles
1955 Wallace Stevens The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens
1954 Conrad Aiken Collected Poems
1953 Archibald MacLeish Collected Poems, 1917-1952
1952 Marianne Moore Collected Poems
1951 Wallace Stevens The Auroras of Autumn
1950 William Carlos Williams   Paterson: Book Three and Selected Poems (two books)[29]
No runners up.[29][30]

Repeat winners[edit]

See Winners of multiple U.S. National Book Awards

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c The Poetry panels split the 1972, 1974, and 1983 awards. Split awards have been prohibited continuously from 1984 (and the same reform eliminated the Poetry category, restored 1992).


  1. ^ "History of the National Book Awards". National Book Foundation (NBF): About Us. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  2. ^ "How the National Book Awards Work". NBF: Awards. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  3. ^ "National Book Award Winners: 1950 – 2009". NBF: Awards. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  4. ^ "National Book Award Selection Process". NBF: Awards. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
  5. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". NBF: About Us. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  6. ^ a b "National Book Awards – 2010". NBF. Retrieved 2012-04-01. (Select 2010 or a later year from the top left menu.)
  7. ^ "National Book Awards 2021 shortlists announced". Books+Publishing. 2021-10-06. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  8. ^ "2020 National Book Awards Finalists Announced". National Book Foundation. August 2020. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  9. ^ "The 2019 National Book Awards Finalists Announced". National Book Foundation. 2019-10-07. Retrieved 2019-10-09.
  10. ^ "2018 National Book Awards - Poetry". National Book Awards. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  11. ^ Constance Grady (October 10, 2018). "The 2018 National Book Award finalists are in. Here's the full list". Vox. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  12. ^ "National Book Foundation -Awards Winners & Finalists 2017".
  13. ^ "2016 National Book Awards". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  14. ^ "2015 National Book Awards". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  15. ^ Alter, Alexandra (19 November 2015). "Ta-Nehisi Coates Wins National Book Award". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  16. ^ "". National Public Radio. October 15, 2014. Retrieved October 4, 2020. External link in |title= (help)
  17. ^ Alter, Alexandra (November 19, 2014). "National Book Award Goes to Phil Klay for His Short Story Collection". The New York Times. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  18. ^ "2013 National Book Award Finalists Announced". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  19. ^ "2013 National Book Awards". NBF. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  20. ^ "National Book Award Finalists Announced Today". Library Journal. October 10, 2012. Archived from the original on December 6, 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  21. ^ "2012 National Book Awards Go to Erdrich, Boo, Ferry, Alexander". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  22. ^ Leslie Kaufman (November 14, 2012). "Novel About Racial Injustice Wins National Book Award". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  23. ^ "National Book Awards – 2000". NBF. Retrieved 2012-04-01. (Select 2000 to 2009 from the top left menu.)
  24. ^ "National Book Awards – 1990". NBF. Retrieved 2012-04-01. (Select 1990 to 1999 from the top left menu.)
  25. ^ "National Book Awards – 1980". NBF. Retrieved 2012-04-01. (Select 1980 to 1983 from the top left menu.)
  26. ^ "National Book Awards – 1970". NBF. Retrieved 2012-04-01. (Select 1970 to 1979 from the top left menu.)
  27. ^ "National Book Awards – 1960". NBF. Retrieved 2012-04-01. (Select 1960 to 1969 from the top left menu.)
  28. ^ "National Book Awards – 1950". NBF. Retrieved 2012-04-01. (Select 1950 to 1959 from the top left menu.)
  29. ^ a b "National Book Awards – 1950". NBF. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
    (With essays by Neil Baldwin and Ross Gay from the Awards 50-year print publication(?) and 60-year anniversary blog. Baldwin covers the award-sharing book: "The edition of the Selected Poems brought out in 1949 has of necessity over the past half-century been emended and expanded many times. ...")
  30. ^ At the first awards dinner in the currently recognized series, there were five honorable mentions announced in the non-fiction category only.
    • "Book Publishers Make 3 Awards: ... Gold Plaques", The New York Times, March 17, 1950, page 21.