Lawrence Schwartzwald took these splendid pictures at our 101st Awards ceremony at the National Arts Club on Tuesday, April 19th. Nine of the winners were on hand to read their award-winning poems or individual poems from their award-winning books. Charles Simic, honored with the 2010 Frost Medal for lifetime achievement in American poetry, spoke about his evolving response to Frost's work over the course of his life and teaching career and of how meaningful it was to receive an award in Frost's name after forty years at the University of New Hampshire, living in a region the poet emblemized for all time. He read Frost's "An Old Man's Winter Night" with a New Englander's direct understanding of (and a native city dweller's perspective on) the harshness and isolation Frost depicts so movingly, "All out of doors looked darkly in at him…". And he spoke of how he's come to write poems of this landscape, as well.
Simic read Frost's "The Most of It," too, emphasizing the indifference of the natural world to the central figure's urgent questing, "And nothing ever came of what he cried..."
Shelley-winners Rigoberto Gonzalez and Joan Larkin were introduced by Eileen Myles, co-winner of last year's Shelley Memorial Award, who described what an excellent pair they made for this award, given to a living American poet or two, selected with reference to genius.
Lucie Brock-Broido with Frost Medalist Charles Simic.
PSA Board President Ruth Kaplan with Frost Medalist Charles Simic.
Charles Simic and The Frost Medal.
Co-winner of the Shelley Memorial Award Rigoberto Gonzalez
Co-winner of the Shelley Memorial Award Joan Larkin.
John Beer, the winner of the Norma Farber First Book Award.