The Week We Gave Out Awards
It’s the end of the last week of November and nearly the end of 2012, which means it’s a fine time to start celebrating our victories, mourning our losses, and making lists of things. We’re not quite ready to break down the entire year just yet—we’re not even entirely sure the world isn’t going to end before the ball drops—but we’re closing out the month by handing out a few arbitrary, slam-book-style distinctions. They may or may not involve fabulous prizes suitable for framing.
The Uninsured Trouper Award goes to Wanda Coleman, who’s fighting an upper-respiratory infection without a net. If her work has touched her life, you may want to do her a solid now.
The award for Striking While the Iron Is Rapidly Cooling and Everyone Has Had Enough Award goes to Calvin Trillin for his rhyming analysis of the 2012 U.S. Presidential election. For an Honorable Mention, Michiko Kakutani apes Trilling’s structure in an amazing review.
The Award for Poetically Engaging the Public goes to Rebecca Lowry, poet-cum-street-artist.
Satire is still a dangerous game. For goofing on the monarchy of Qatar, poet Mohammed al-Ajami wins life in prison. Life. And he’s being way more stoic about the persecution than Lenny Bruce was.
The More Is More award goes to Mike Chasar and Jed Rasula, who discuss contemporary poetic overindulgence in overindulgent, generously entertaining detail.
John Coleman should get Employee of the Week distinctions from the Harvard Business Review for reminding us that business executives should read poetry. Without Frank O’Hara, Don Draper is just a dude in a suit.
For producing what will inevitably be the week’s most notable list of 2012’s most notable books, the List of the Week Award goes to… wait for it!... The New York Times. How do they do it? Always with the list-making.
But it was a nail-biter this time, folks! The prize almost went to the week’s #1 list of the top ten reading series in the Midwest, which also serves as a handy tip sheet for anyone interested in stalking us. And yes, apparently the plural of “series” is “series.”