ASSESSING THE ACADEMY OF AMERICAN POETS’ 2010 AWARDS

November 8, 2010 | by | 1

While we were pleased to find a number of the Academy prizes reflected a gender-balance in distribution, the few that reflected what should be the “old” balance, presented new questions to consider:

1.) In select venues, gender balance seems to be appearing more often via “smaller” awards, but the “big” prizes (i.e. late career recognition) continue to be awarded primarily to men.  The number of Academy prizes, of early and mid-career level, reflect an appreciation of the works by women and men alike.  But the standout award, the Wallace Stevens, which carries a prize of $100,000 and national note, has been issued to 12 men and only 4 women.

Why is the Academy reflecting an appreciation for women poets via the  early career prizes, but when it comes to recognition of life’s work, the imbalance remains?  Does bias carry on when it comes to selecting the most noteworthy poets of all—the “greats”?

2.) The Raiziss / de Palchi Translation Award and Harold Morton Langdon Translation Award both make it seem few women are translating and few women poets are being translated.  This imbalance suggests additional queries when it comes to the valuable work of sharing poetry beyond one’s borders.

To what extent does this imbalance actually reflect the number of women’s works translated by women?   What does this tell us about which international writers are deemed to warrant translation?

1. Wallace Stevens Award: $100,000.00

“Given annually to recognize outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry.”

  • 12 Men
  • 4 Women

__________________________________________________________

Breakdown:

2010: Galway Kinnell (Male)

Judges:

  • 7 Men
  • 8 Women

2009: Jean Valentine (Female)

Judges:

  • 8 Men
  • 7 Women

2008: Louise Gluck (Female)

Judges:

  • 8 Men
  • 6 Women

2007: Charles Simic (Male)

Judges:

  • 10 Men
  • 6 Women

2006: Michael Palmer (Male)

Judges:

  • 3 Men
  • 2 Women

2005: Gerald Stern (Male)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 3 Women

2004: Mark Strand (Male)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 3 Women

2003: Richard Wilbur (Male)

Judges:

  • 3 Men
  • 2 Women

2002: Ruth Stone (Female)

Judges:

  • 3 Men
  • 2 Women

2001: John Ashbery (Male)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 3 Women

2000: Frank Bidart (Male)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 3 Women

1999: Jackson Mac Low (Male)

Judges:

  • 3 Men
  • 2 Women

1998: A.R. Ammons (Male)

Judges:

  • 3 Men
  • 2 Women

1997: Anthony Hecht (Male)

Judges:

  • 3 Men
  • 2 Women

1996: Adrienne Rich (Female)

Judges:

  • 3 Men
  • 2 Women

1995: James Tate (Male)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Woman

2. Academy Fellowship: $25,000.00

“Since 1946, The Academy of American Poets has regularly awarded Fellowships to American poets for distinguished poetic achievement.”

  • 7 Men
  • 9 Women

NO JUDGES LISTED.

3. Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize: $25,000.00

“[R]ecognizes the most outstanding book of poetry published in the United States in the previous year.”

  • 8 Men
  • 8 Women

__________________________________________________________

 

Breakdown:

2010: John Koethe (Male)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Woman

2009: Linda Gregg (Female)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Woman

2008: Henri Cole (Male)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Woman

2007: Alice Notley (Female)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Woman

2006: Eleanor Lerman (Female)

 

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Woman

2005: Ann Winters (Female)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Woman

2004: Donald Revell (Male)

Judges:

  • 1 Man
  • 2 Women

2003: Eamon Grennan (Male)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Women

2002: Madeline DeFrees (Female)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Women

2001: Fanny Howe (Female)

Judges:

  • 1 Man
  • 2 Women

2000: David Ferry (Male)

Judges:

  • 1 Man
  • 2 Women

1999: Wanda Coleman (Female)

Judges:

  • 1 Man
  • 2 Women

1998: Mark Jarman (Male)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Woman

1997: Robert Pinsky (Male)

Judges:

  • 1 Man
  • 2 Women

1996: Charles Wright (Male)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Woman

1995: Marilyn Hacker (Female)

Judges:

  • 1 Man
  • 2 Women

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. James Laughlin Award: $5,000.00

“[G]iven to recognize and support a poet’s second book.”

  • 6 Men
  • 8 Women

__________________________________________________________

Breakdown:

2010: Michael Dickman (Male)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Woman

2009: Jennifer K. Sweeney (Female)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Woman

2008: Rusty Morrison (Feale)

Judges:

  • 1 Man
  • 2 Women

2007: Brenda Shaughnessy (Female)

Judges:

  • 1 Man
  • 2 Women

2006: Tracy K. Smith (Female)

 

Judges:

  • 1 Man
  • 2 Women

2005: Barbara Jane Reyes (Female)

Judges:

  • 1 Man
  • 2 Women

2004: Jeff Clark (Male)

Judges:

  • 3 Women

2003: Vijay Sheshadri (Male)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Women

2002: Karen Volkman (Female)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Women

2001: Peter Johnson (Male)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Woman

2000: Liz Waldner (Female)

Judges:

  • 1 Man
  • 2 Women

1999: Tory Dent (Female)

Judges:

  • 1 Man
  • 2 Women

1998: Sandra Alcosser (Female)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Woman

1997: Tony Hoagland (Male)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Woman

1996: David Rivard (Male)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Woman

1995: Ralph Angel (Male)

Judges:

  • 2 Men
  • 1 Woman

5. Walt Whitman Award: $5,000.00, one-month residency at Vermont Studio Center, and Publication

Awarded to “an American who has never before published a book of poetry.”

  • 7 Men
  • 9 Women

Judges:

  • 8 Men
  • 8 Women

 

6. Raiziss / de Palchi Translation Awards: $5,000.00 – $25,000.00

This award recognizes outstanding translations into English of modern Italian poetry through a $5,000 book prize and a $25,000 fellowship, given in alternating years.”

Translators

  • 11 Men
  • 2 Women
  • 1 Male/Female

Authors Translated

  • 12 Men
  • 2 Women (same author, different works)

Judges:

2010: 2 Men / 1 Woman

2009: 2 Men / 1 Woman

2008: 3 Men

2007: 3 Men

2006: 3 Men

2005: 2 Men / 1 Woman

2004: 2 Women

2003: 2 Men / 1 Woman

2002: 3 Men

2001: 3 Men

2000: 3 Men

1999: 3 Men

1998: 3 Men

1997: 2 Men / 1 Woman

1996: 2 Men / 1 Woman

7. Harold Morton Langdon Translation Award: $1,000.00

“Recognizes a published translation of poetry from any language into English.”

Translators

  • 15 Men
  • 2 Woman
  • 1 Male/Female

Authors Translated

  • 18 Men
  • 0 Women
  • 3 Anthologies

JUDGES:

  • 10 Men
  • 6 Women

One Comment to 'ASSESSING THE ACADEMY OF AMERICAN POETS’ 2010 AWARDS'

  • carol dorf says:

    I appreciate your analysis here. What I find interesting is that if you choose almost any 20 year period of 20th C American Poetic history, you find much more parity of men and women at the early and mid-level of careers as compared to those who are recognized as “essential” or canonized.

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