The Poetry Society of America is honored to announce that Martín Espada and Lucia Perillo are the 2013 recipient of the Shelley Memorial Award, presented annually to a living American poet selected with reference to his or her genius and need by a jury of poets.
This year's judges were Amy Gerstler, appointed by the president of the University of California, and Marilyn Nelson, appointed by the Poetry Society of America.
Martín Espada has published more than fifteen books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His latest collection of poems, The Trouble Ball (Norton, 2011), is the recipient of the Milt Kessler Award, a Massachusetts Book Award and an International Latino Book Award. The Republic of Poetry, a collection published by Norton in 2006, received the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A previous book of poems, Imagine the Angels of Bread (Norton, 1996), won an American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Other books of poems include A Mayan Astronomer in Hell's Kitchen (Norton, 2000), City of Coughing and Dead Radiators (Norton, 1993), and Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover's Hands (Curbstone, 1990). He has received other recognition such as the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. His work has been widely translated; collections of poems have been published in Spain, Puerto Rico, and Chile. A former tenant lawyer, Espada is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Lucia Perillo is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Dangerous Life (1989), which won the Norma Farber Award from the Poetry Society of America; The Body Mutinies(1996), winner of the Kate Tufts prize from Claremont University; The Oldest Map with the Name America (1999); Luck is Luck (2005), which was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize and won the Kingsley Tufts prize from Claremont University; Inseminating the Elephant (2009), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress; and Spectrum of Possible Deaths (2012). She has published a book of essays, I've Heard the Vultures Singing (2005), and a book of short stories, Happiness is a Chemical in the Brain (2012). She has taught at Syracuse University, Southern Illinois University, and in the Warren Wilson MFA program. A former MacArthur fellow, she lives in Olympia, Washington.
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The 2013 Annual Awards Ceremony, which will celebrate all the winners of the 13 annual PSA awards, will take place on April 5th in New York City.
Recent winners of this award have included Wanda Coleman, Kimiko Hahn, Lyn Hejinian, Angela Jackson, Yusef Komunyakaa, James McMichael, Alice Notley, Ron Padgett, Ed Roberson, Eileen Myles, Rigoberto Gonzalez, and Gary Young.
A complete list of the distinguished winners of the Shelley Memorial Award is available here.