Centre professor wins prestigious poetry award—book to be published by W.W. Norton
RELEASED: April 26, 2007
DANVILLE, KY—Lisa Williams, Centre associate professor of English, has been awarded the prestigious 2007 Barnard Women Poets Prize for her "hauntingly beautiful" collection of poems, Woman Reading To The Sea. Williams received an honorarium of $1,500 and, most impressively, publication of her manuscript in spring of 2008 by W.W. Norton & Co. The prize is given annually to one emerging writer to publish her second collection of poetry.
"Woman Reading To The Sea contains poems of arresting intelligence, precision and beauty," Oates said. "In wonderfully crafted language, with the startling subtlety of certain of Emily Dickinson's poems, Lisa Williams takes us into eerily imagined worlds—the interior of a jellyfish and the interior of a glacier. She beguiles us with the most seductive of poetic possibilities."
Originally from Nashville, Tenn., Williams received her M.F.A. in creative writing/poetry from the University of Virginia, her M.A. in Literature with Creative Writing Thesis from the University of Cincinnati, and her B.A. from Belmont University. Her poems are recently published or forthcoming in The Southern Review, Salmagundi, Raritan, Virginia Quarterly Review, Ninth Letter, The Cincinnati Review, and other magazines, as well as in the anthology American Poetry: Next Generation. Her essays on contemporary poets appear in The Hollins Critic. In 2004, Williams was awarded the Rome Prize in Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Williams' book of poems, The Hammered Dulcimer, won the 1998 May Swenson Poetry Award. She has received a Henry Hoyns Fellowship, an Elliston Fellowship, a Walter E. Dakin fellowship, and a Tennessee Williams scholarship, among other fellowships and awards.
Women Poets at Barnard, supported by Barnard College at Columbia University, has collaborated with publishers to publish the work of American women writers for many years. Since 2003, it has partnered with W.W. Norton & Co. to publish the best second collection of poems by an emerging American woman writer through the Barnard Women Poets Prize. Women Poets at Barnard has hosted free public readings for nearly 20 years. The series highlights extraordinary work of women in the arts and encourages the study of contemporary poetry in the context of women's contribution to it. Writers, whose reputations are established or still emerging, are presented from different aesthetic disciplines to broaden the audience's experience of poetry's range and effects.
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