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Northeastern suspends Morse poetry prize

Posted by guest  April 17, 2009 10:42 AM

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Northeastern University has decided to suspend its Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize because of financial difficulties.
"The competition is not going forward for now, but might possibly return at some unspecified point in the future,'' said Guy Rotella, a Northeastern English professor and series editor in an e-mail.
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The annual competition, run since 1983, awarded $1,000 and publication by Northeastern University for a first or second book of poems.
Rotella explained that the economics of the prize no longer made sense. "Put simply,'' he said, "the costs of publication outstrip the combination of subvention and sales available to offset those costs.''
This year's winner was Lisa Gluskin, whose "Tulips, Water, Ash'' was picked by judge Jean Valentine and will be published in September.
Previous winners include Carl Phillips (In the Blood, 1992), Allison Funk (Living at the Epicenter, 1995), Jennifer Atkinson (The Drowned City, 2000), Ted Genoways (Bullroarer, 2001), and Roy Jacobstein (A Form of Optimism, 2006), according to Poets and Writers, which first reported the news.
Over the years, the contest, established to honor late Northeastern University professor Samuel French Morse, has featured a number of celebrated poets as judges, such as Anthony Hecht, Maxine Kumin, X.J. Kennedy, Donald Hall, Mary Oliver, Peter Davison, Charles Simic, Rachel Hadas, Philip Booth, A.R. Ammons, David Ferry, Sonia Sanchez, Molly Peacock, Edward Hirsch, Carolyn Kizer, Alfred Corn, Carl Phillips, Marilyn Hacker, Rosanna Warren, Robert Cording, and Ellen Bryant Voigt.

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe staff

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