Poetry News

Frank Bidart Wins 2018 Pulitzer Prize

By Harriet Staff
Frank Bidart, Collected Poems, cover

Today we heard the good news that Frank Bidart has been honored with this year's Pulitzer Prize in poetry for Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016. The Pulitzer, which honors "[a] volume of unyielding ambition and remarkable scope that mixes long dramatic poems with short elliptical lyrics, building on classical mythology and reinventing forms of desires that defy societal norms," perfectly encapsulates the range of work Bidart has accomplished through the six decades of his career. The collection has already taken home the 2017 National Book Award. More on the book from the Pulitzer site:

Gathered together, the poems of Frank Bidart perform one of the most remarkable transmutations of the body into language in contemporary literature. His pages represent the human voice in all its extreme registers, whether it’s that of the child-murderer Herbert White, the obsessive anorexic Ellen West, the tormented genius Vaslav Nijinsky, or the poet’s own. And in that embodiment is a transgressive empathy, one that recognizes our wild appetites, the monsters, the misfits, the misunderstood among us and inside us. Few writers have so willingly ventured to the dark places of the human psyche and allowed themselves to be stripped bare on the page with such candor and vulnerability. Over the past half century, Bidart has done nothing less than invent a poetics commensurate with the chaos and appetites of our experience.

Head here to see Pulitzer winners in all categories.

Originally Published: April 16th, 2018