POETRY: "Versed" by Rae Armantrout
"Versed" is "striking for its wit and linguistic inventiveness" and the poems were "often little thought-bombs detonating in the mind long after the first reading," the Pulitzer board said.
"I love that," Armantrout said. "That's very flattering and exactly what I wanted it to be—a little thought bomb.
"It sounds dangerous," she added, laughing.
"Versed" was cited this year by the National Book Critics Circle Prize. Armantrout has written 10 books of poetry, including "Next Life," which was selected by The New York Times as a notable book of 2007.
Armantrout has taught at the University of California at San Diego for almost 20 years.
For a distinguished volume of original verse by an American author, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to “Versed,” by Rae Armantrout(Wesleyan University Press), a book striking for its wit and linguistic inventiveness, offering poems that are often little thought-bombs detonating in the mind long after the first reading.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were “Tryst,” by Angie Estes (Oberlin College Press), a collection of poems remarkable for its variety of subjects, array of genres and nimble use of language; and “Inseminating the Elephant,” by Lucia Perillo(Copper Canyon Press), a collection of poems, often laced with humor, that examine popular culture, the limits of the human body and the tragicomic aspects of everyday experience.