Why are university presses home to such good poetry?

By Harriet Staff

The newsletter of the association of American university presses asks around to find out:

2010 has been a banner year for poetry published by university presses. Rae Armantrout’s Versed, published by Wesleyan University Press, was awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Published by the University of California Press, Keith Waldrop’s Transcendental Studies was awarded the National Book Award for Poetry, for which Armantrout’s book and Open Interval by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon (Pittsburgh University Press) were also nominated, making university press poetry three-fifths of the field. These are just a few of the most recent honors, continuing a long tradition of poetic excellence and innovation fostered at university presses.

What is it about university presses that have made them such a good home for so many talented poets? AAUP spoke with university press editors, one of the award-winning poets, and a poetry reviewer to get their takes on the subject. . . .

Originally Published: May 12th, 2010