Robert Hass: National Book Award & the Nobel Literature Prize

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No, Robert Hass has not won the Nobel Literature Prize. Not yet. However, the next winner of the Nobel will be announced tomorrow and speculation of who will win is mounting:

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So, why did I mention Robert Hass? Well, I had The New York Times review of his most recent poetry collection, Time and Materials: Poems, 1997-2005 (Ecco/HarperCollins), forwarded my way by Faulty Mindbomb contributor Caili Wilk. (Thanks!)

"The Limits of Influence," by Stephen Burt, gives a nice review.

I read the collection myself in May/June of this year. Many advance copies were available at the popular book buzz forum at BookExpo America in New York this year. There were few advance copies of poetry available at the event, but I was surely glad to have Hass.

Out of dozens of books that I'd collected at the expo, Time and Materials was the only one I read at Laguardia while waiting for my plane. And yes, I read it on the plane, too. And yes, again, I continued reading it at home. Yes, I'm giving the collection a thumbs up. (That's as close as you'll get to a review out of me, I think.)

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Oh yeah? Why did I bother to put "National Book Award" in the title of this post? Maybe because Publishers Lunch passed on the National Book Award finalists in poetry. They are:

  • Linda Gregerson, Magnetic North (Houghton Mifflin Company)
  • Robert Hass, Time and Materials (Ecco/HarperCollins)
  • David Kirby, The House on Boulevard St. (Louisiana State University Press)
  • Stanley Plumly, Old Heart (W.W. Norton & Company)
  • Ellen Bryant Voigt, Messenger: New and Selected Poems 1976-2006 (W.W. Norton & Company)

As you'll notice, Hass is one of the finalists. Looks like a pretty strong field this year. I now have four new books to hunt down at the bookstore.

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