Poetry News

Congratulations to the Ten Poets on This Year's National Book Award Longlist!

By Harriet Staff
Book covers fro National Book Award longlist

We interrupt your regularly-scheduled programming for this extra-special, extraordinary hurrah! The National Book Foundation announced the names of ten poets who comprise the longlist for the 2017 National Book Award this morning, and they are:

Frank Bidart, for Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016

Chen Chen, When I Grow Up I want to Be a List of Further Possibilities

Leslie Harrison, The Book of Endings

Marie Howe, Magdalene: Poems

Laura Kasischke, Where Now: New and Selected Poems

Layli Long Soldier, WHEREAS

Shane McCrae, In the Language of My Captor

Sherod Santos, Square Inch Hours

Danez Smith, Don't Call Us Dead: Poems

Mai Der Vang, for Afterland. ​

This year's judges are Nick Flynn, Jane Mead, Gregory Pardlo, Richard Siken, and Monica Youn. As Carolyn Kellogg of Jacket Copy rightly points out, these are Layli Long Soldier, Chen Chen, and Mai Der Vang's first collections of poetry. At the New Yorker, read the official announcement which begins with Bidart: "Hilton Als recently described 'Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965-2016' as 'the culmination of a distinguished career and a poetic ur-text about how homophobia, doubt, and a parent’s confusing love can shape a gay child.' The book is now also Frank Bidart’s fifth collection to be long-listed for the National Book Award." From there:

Bidart has been contributing poetry to The New Yorker since 1997, the same year that the magazine first published Marie Howe, who is also up for the award. This is Howe’s first time being long-listed. The list also includes three début collections, by Chen Chen, Layli Long Soldier, and Mai Der Vang, whose 'stringent vision of verbal beauty' Dan Chiasson wrote about earlier this year." [...]

The judges for the category this year are Gregory Pardlo, the winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for poetry; Jane Mead, whose book “World of Made and Unmade” was long-listed for the National Book Award; Nick Flynn, a former Guggenheim fellow and a writer of poetry and nonfiction; Monica Youn, whose books “Blackacre” and “Ignatz” were contenders for the National Book Award; and Richard Siken, whose book “Crush” won the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize.

National Book Awards finalists will be announced on October 4th, and winners will be announced at a ceremony in New York on November 15th.

Read the complete list at the New Yorker