The Poetry Society of America is honored to announce that Gerald Stern is the 2014 recipient of the organization's highest award, the Frost Medal, presented annually for distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry. Previous winners of this award include Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, Lucille Clifton, Charles Simic, Marilyn Nelson, and Robert Bly, who was the 2013 recipient.
Gerald Stern was born in 1925 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Eastern European immigrants. He studied at the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University. He is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including most recently, In Beauty Bright (Norton, 2012); Early Collected Poems from 1965-1992 (2010), which received the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress; Save the Last Dance (2008); and Everything is Burning (2005). His collection This Time: New and Selected Poems, received the 1998 National Book Award. In 2000 he was appointed the first Poet Laureate of New Jersey. His many honors include awards from the Paris Review, Poetry, and the American Poetry Review, as well as the Pennsylvania Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, and induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. For many years Gerald Stern was a professor at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. He now lives in Lambertville, New Jersey.
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The part that we avoided was not the heart
but what we called the pouch, for it still swelled
or seemed to and there was plenty of horror cutting
into what made the music or at least
the agency you might call it, and more than one of us
retched and as you know, that can become
contagious—think of a roomful of pouches exploding
think of the music on a summer night
with no one conducting and think of how warm it might be
and how love songs may have gotten started there.
from In Beauty Bright (W. W. Norton, 2012)
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The 2014 Annual Awards ceremony, which will honor Gerald Stern and celebrate the winners of the Poetry Society of America's 10 other annual awards, will take place on Wednesday, April 9th at 7:00 pm at the National Arts Club.
The Poetry Society of America, the nation's oldest poetry organization, was founded in 1910 for the purpose of creating a public forum for the advancement, enjoyment, and understanding of poetry. Through a diverse array of programs, initiatives, contests, and awards, the PSA works to build a larger audience for poetry, to encourage a deeper appreciation of the art, and to place poetry at the crossroads of American life.