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AuthorRae Armantrout
CountryUnited States
SeriesWesleyan Poetry Series
PublisherWesleyan University Press
Publication date
February 2009
811/.54 22[1]
LC ClassPS3551.R455 V47 2009[1]
Preceded byNext Life (2007) 
Followed byMoney Shot (2011) 

Versed is a book of poetry written by Rae Armantrout and published by Wesleyan University Press in 2009 (see 2009 in poetry). It won the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry after being named a finalist for the National Book Award.[2][3] Armantrout is only the third poet to win two out of these three awards in one year.[4]


As part of a lead-in to their awards announcement,[5] NBCC board member James Marcus called Versed a collection of "vigilant, often beautiful poems [that] seem to reset the reader’s mental instrumentation—what Armantrout calls the 'whirligig / of attention, / the figuring and / reconfiguring / of charges / among orbits / (obits) / that has taken forever.'"[6]

According to the Pulitzer Prize Board, Versed is a "book striking for its wit and linguistic inventiveness, offering poems that are often little thought-bombs detonating in the mind long after the first reading."[7]


  1. ^ a b "Versed / Rae Armantrout". Online Catalog. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
  2. ^ "Versed Reader's Companion – A Wesleyan Reader's Companion". Retrieved 2021-09-30.
  3. ^ "All Past National Book Critics Circle Award Winners and Finalists". Archived from the original on 2015-05-03. Retrieved 2021-09-30.
  4. ^ Entangled: The poetry of Rae Armantrout essay in The New Yorker by Dan Chiasson
  5. ^ Marjorie Kehe (March 12, 2010). "Congratulations to NBCC award winners". Chapter & Verse blog. The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
  6. ^ James Marcus (March 9, 2010). "30 Books in 30 Days: Versed, by Rae Armantrout". Critical Mass Blog. National Book Critics Circle. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
  7. ^ "The 2010 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Poetry". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2010-04-13.

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