Special Collections

National Book Award Winners - Poetry

Description: The National Book Awards are presented annually "to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America." Here we present the medal winners for Poetry.

Showing 1 through 25 of 41 results

Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965-2016

by Frank Bidart

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.

Date Added: 02/12/2018

Year: 2017

The Performance Of Becoming Human

by Daniel Borzutzky

To become human is to navigate borders, including the fuzzy borders of institutions, the economies of privatization, overdevelopment, and underdevelopment, under which humans endure state-sanctioned and systemic abuses in cities, villages, deserts.

Date Added: 02/12/2018

Year: 2016

Voyage of the Sable Venus

by Robin Coste Lewis

A stunning poetry debut: this meditation on the black female figure throughout time introduces us to a brave and penetrating new voice.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 2015

Faithful And Virtuous Night: Poems

by Louise Glück

Winner of the 2014 National Book Award for Poetry. Faithful and Virtuous Night tells a single story but the parts are mutable, the great sweep of its narrative mysterious and fateful, heartbreaking and charged with wonder.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 2014

Incarnadine: Poems

by Mary Szybist

In Incarnadine, Mary Szybist restlessly seeks out places where meaning might take on new color.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 2013

Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations

by David Ferry

The passionate nature and originality of Ferry's prosodic daring works are transformations that take your breath away.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 2012

Head Off & Split: Poems

by Nikky Finney

The poems in Nikky Finney’s breathtaking new collection Head Off & Split sustain a sensitive and intense dialogue with emblematic figures and events in African American life.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 2011


by Terrance Hayes

In his fourth collection, Terrance Hayes investigates how we construct experience. With one foot firmly grounded in the everyday and the other hovering in the air, his poems braid dream and reality into a poetry that is both dark and buoyant.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 2010

Fire to Fire

by Mark Doty

Mark Doty's Fire to Fire collects the best of his seven books of poetry, along with a generous selection of new work.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 2008

Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005

by Robert Hass

The poems in Robert Hass's new collection-his first to appear in a decade-are grounded in the beauty and energy of the physical world, and in the bafflement of the present moment in American culture.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 2007

Splay Anthem

by Nathaniel Mackey

In a stunning new collection of poems of transport and transcendence, African-American poet Nathaniel Mackey's "asthmatic song of aspiration" scuttles across cultures and histories from America to Andalucía, from Ethiopia to Vienna in a sexy, beautiful adaptive dance.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 2006

Door in the Mountain

by Jean Valentine

Since the 1965 publication of her first book, Dream Barker, selected for the Yale Younger Poets Award, Jean Valentine has published eight collections of poetry to critical acclaim.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 2004

The Singing: Poems

by C. K. Williams

In his first volume since Repair, C. K. Williams treats the characteristic subjects of a poet's maturity--the loss of friends, the love of grandchildren, the receding memories of childhood, the baffling illogic of current events--with an intensity and drive that recall not only his recent work but also his early books, published forty years ago.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 2003

In the Next Galaxy

by Ruth Stone

Ruth Stone writes with crackling intelligence from the vantage point of an aging and impoverished woman. Wise, sardonic, crafty, and misleadingly simple, Stone loves heavy themes but loathes heavy poems.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 2002

Poems Seven: New and Complete Poetry

by Alan Dugan and Carl Phillips

Poems Seven: New and Complete Poetry, the winner of the National Book Award, presents the life work of a giant of American letters, tracks a forty-year career of honest, tough artistry, and shows a man at nearly 80 years of age and still at the height of his poetic power.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 2001

Blessing the Boats

by Lucille Clifton

This long-awaited collection from one of the most distinguished poets working today includes new poems written during the past four years as well as generous selections from previous collections.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 2000

Vice: New and Selected Poems

by Ai

Collected here are poems from Ai's previous five books--Cruelty, Killing Floor, Sin, Fate, and Greed--along with seventeen new poems.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 1999

Passing Through: The Later Poems, New and Selected

by Stanley Kunitz

Stanley Kunitz, one of the masters of contemporary poetry, presents his ninth collection, gathering a rich selection of his work, including new poems that remind us of his prefatory statement: "Art is the chalice into which we pour the wine of transcendence."

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 1995

Worshipful Company of Fletchers: Poems

by James Tate

A great new collection of poems by the 1992 Pulitzer Prize-winner. Tate may just be our greatest poet, or at least our most interesting.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 1994

Garbage: A Poem

by A. R. Ammons

A book-length poem, "Garbage" is an epic of ideas: all life -- not that of human beings alone, but every species -- is shown to be part of an ultimate reality.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 1993

New and Selected Poems, Volume One

by Mary Oliver

When New and Selected Poems, Volume One was originally published in 1992, Mary Oliver was awarded the National Book Award. In the fourteen years since its initial appearance it has become one of the best-selling volumes of poetry in the country.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 1992

What Work Is

by Philip Levine

"This collection amounts to a hymn of praise for all the workers of America...

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 1991

Selected Poems

by Galway Kinnell

A rich selection of poems in a book that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. The poems include two of Kinnell's most frequently reprinted poems, "Saint Francis and the Sow" and "After Making Love We Hear Footsteps"

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 1983

Country Music

by Charles Wright and David St. John

Country Music is comprised of eighty-eight poems selected from Charles Wright's first four books published between 1970 and 1977.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 1983

The Need To Hold Still: Poems

by Lisel Mueller

Winner of the National Book Award for Poetry in 1981.

Date Added: 05/25/2017

Year: 1981

Showing 1 through 25 of 41 results