Awards: Whiting, Four Quartets Winners

The 10 winners of the 35th annual Whiting Awards, recognizing "excellence and promise in a spectrum of emerging talent, giving most winners their first chance to devote themselves full-time to their own writing, or to take bold new risks in their work," are:

Fiction: Ling Ma, Genevieve Sly Crane, Andrea Lawlor
Nonfiction: Jaquira Díaz, Jia Tolentino
Poetry: Aria Aber Poetry, Diannely Antigua, Jake Skeets, Genya Turovskaya
Drama: Will Arbery

For more information about the awards and winners, each of whom received $50,000, click here.


The poem "Toxics Release Inventory (Essay on Man)" from Brian Teare's collection Doomstead Days (Nightboat Books) has won the $21,000 Four Quartets Prize, sponsored by the T.S. Eliot Foundation and the Poetry Society of America.

The judges commented: "With his walking-activated line and stanza breaks and his mix of personal experience, documentary materials, and political implication, Brian Teare writes one of our times' most affecting poems on environmental crises and ethical responsibility, focusing in 'Toxics Release Inventory (Essay on Man)' on the city of Philadelphia and his own corporeal implication in systemic and deadly pollution. In this bravura unfurling of reticulated haikus, Teare undertakes a mode of geophysical positioning via lyric reckoning, sounding out the permeability, vulnerability, and intimacy of bodies in specifically distressed environs. Teare is a virtuoso of sensuous and intellectual registration, of the luminous and telling detail, from the 'timothy inflorescing,/ fringing the sidewalk' to a broken condom to coyotes yipping up a city street. Aerated yet also intensely wrought, this is a work of ambulatory notation and philosophical reflection. Teare offers both a brilliant inventorying and a fiercely alert sauntering, openhearted and intermittently devastated, charting a path toward a great democracy of attentiveness and a committed, disabused persistence. This allusive, wide-ranging sequence from his ambitious Doomstead Days moves and dazzles us in its acrobatic beauty on the page, confirming Teare as a clear-sighted, profoundly inventive ecopoetic heir to Rachel Carson and Thoreau, an American flaneur 'married to the world/alive with the feel/ of mortal knowledge.' "

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