Yale Series of Younger Poets

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The Yale Series of Younger Poets is an annual event of Yale University Press aiming to publish the debut collection of a promising American poet. Established in 1918, the Younger Poets Prize is the longest-running annual literary award in the United States.

Yale Series of Younger Poets
Yale Series of Younger Poets centennial logo.svg
Centennial logo[1]

CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
DisciplinePoetry
PublisherYale University Press
PublishedAnnually since 1919 (1919)
No. of books114
OCLC1605127
Websiteyoungerpoets.yupnet.org

Each year, the Younger Poets Competition accepts submissions from American poets who have not previously published a book of poetry. Once the judge has chosen a winner, the Press publishes a book-length manuscript of the winner's poetry as the next volume in the series. All poems must be original, and only one manuscript may be entered at a time.

Rules and eligibilityEdit

Contest requirements were first articulated in the summer of 1920. The series had already published four books, all written by Yale students, and the judges sought to attract a nationwide pool of applicants. A promotional statement gave the following, somewhat vague eligibility requirements: "Anyone is eligible provided he (or she) is young and comparatively unknown. The age limit is understood to be about thirty."[2] A formal set of rules was adopted in 1924.[3] In addition to specifying page limits and other manuscript requirements, these new rules limited the contest to American citizens younger than 30.[4] Although the contest was briefly opened to any writer of English-language poetry under Auden's judgeship, it has remained limited to American citizens ever since.[5]

HistoryEdit

 
The Tempering (1919) by Howard Buck is the first volume in the series.

The Younger Poets Series was established in 1919 by Clarence Day, whose brother George Parmly Day had founded Yale University Press with his wife Wilhelmine in 1908.[6] The competition's first judge, Charlton M. Lewis, was a prominent professor in Yale's English department.[7] The inaugural competition took place after the end of World War I, just as an influx of young veterans returned from fighting in Europe and entered college.[8] Modernist poetry emerged in this period, but early entries in the series reflected the neoclassical tastes of the older generation adjudicating the competition, all men who had received degrees from Yale in the late-19th century.[9] The anglophilic publishers were heavily influenced by English poetry, especially the contemporary Georgian poetry, and the competition itself was directly influenced by the similar "Adventures All" poetry series of Oxford University Press.[10]

The contest solidified its importance in American literature under the judgeship of Stephen Vincent Benét.[11] Benet was judge from 1933 to 1942, followed by Archibald MacLeish from 1944 to 1946. Margaret Walker's For My People was the last volume selected by Benet. Auden assumed the judgeship after MacLeish. The contest is regarded by some[12] to have been at its height from 1947 to 1959, when W. H. Auden was choosing the winners. His then-young poets included Adrienne Rich, James Wright, W. S. Merwin, John Ashbery, and John Hollander. The period was also notable for the two-time refusal of Sylvia Plath's manuscript Two Lovers,[13] and Colossus which was subsequently published in England.[12] The 1969–1977 period, overseen by Stanley Kunitz, included volumes by Carolyn Forché and Robert Hass; Hass later became the Poet Laureate of the United States. The judgeship of W. S. Merwin, from 1998 to 2003, was fraught with controversy, as he refused to select a winner the first year that he was judge. Louise Glück, who is widely considered[14] to have revived the prize's stature, judged the award from 2003 to 2010. Carl Phillips is the current judge.

JudgesEdit

Past winnersEdit

The year column provides the date of the competition. The winning poetry collections are published the following year.

Year Vol. Poet Title Judge Ref.
1918 1 Howard Buck The Tempering Charlton M. Lewis [16]
2 John C. Farrar Forgotten Shrines [16]
1919 3 David Osborne Hamilton Four Gardens [16]
4 Alfred Raymond Bellinger Spires and Poplars [16]
5 Thomas Caldecot Chubb The White God and Other Poems [16]
6 Darl MacLeod Boyle Where Lilith Dances [16]
1920 7 Theodore H. Jr. Banks Wild Geese [17]
8 Viola C. White Horizons [17]
9 Hervey Allen Wampum and Old Gold [17]
10 Oscar Williams Golden Darkness [17]
1921 11 Harold Vinal White April [17]
12 Medora C. Addison Dreams and a Sword [17]
13 Bernard Raymund Hidden Waters [17]
14 Paul Tanaquil Attitudes [17]
1922 15 Dean B. Jr. Lyman The Last Lutanist [17]
16 Amos Niven Wilder Battle-Retrospect [17]
17 Marion M. Boyd Silver Wands Frederick E. Pierce [17]
18 Beatrice E. Harmon Mosaics [17]
1923 19 Elizabeth Jessup Blake Up and Down Edward Bliss Reed [17]
1924 20 Dorothy E. Reid Coach into Pumpkin William Alexander Percy [18]
1925 21 Eleanor Slater Quest [18]
22 Thomas Hornsby Ferril High Passage [18]
1926 23 Lindley Williams Hubbell Dark Pavilion [18]
1927 24 Mildred Bowers Twist o' Smoke [18]
25 Ted Olson A Stranger and Afraid [18]
26 Francis Claiborne Mason This Unchanging Mask [18]
1928 27 Frances M. Frost Hemlock Wall [18]
28 Henri Faust Half-Light and Overture [18]
1929 29 Louise Owen Virtuosa [18]
1930 30 Dorothy Belle Flanagan (aka Dorothy B. Hughes) Dark Certainty [18]
1931 31 Paul Engle Worn Earth [18]
1932 32 Shirley Barker The Dark Hills Under Stephen Vincent Benét [19]
1933 33 James Agee Permit Me Voyage [19]
1934 34 Muriel Rukeyser Theory of Flight [19]
1935 35 Edward Weismiller The Deer Come Down [19]
1936 36 Margaret Haley The Gardener Mind [19]
1937 37 Joy Davidman Letter to a Comrade [19]
1938 38 Reuel Denney The Connecticut River and Other Poems [19]
1939 39 Norman Rosten Return Again, Traveler [19]
1940 40 Jeremy Ingalls The Metaphysical Sword [20]
1941 41 Margaret Walker For My People [20]
1942 No winner selected Archibald MacLeish [20]
1943 42 William Morris Jr. Meredith Love Letters from an Impossible Land [20]
1944 43 Charles E. Butler Cut Is the Branch [20]
1945 44 Eve Merriam Family Circle [20]
1946 45 Joan Murray Poems W. H. Auden [20]
1947 46 Robert Horan A Beginning [20]
1948 47 Rosalie Moore The Grasshopper's Man and Other Poems [21]
1949 No winner selected [21]
1950 48 Adrienne Rich A Change of World [21]
1951 49 W. S. Merwin A Mask for Janus [21]
1952 50 Edgar Bogardus Various Jangling Keys [21]
1953 51 Daniel Hoffman An Armada of Thirty Whales [21]
1954 No winner selected [21]
1955 52 John Ashbery Some Trees [21]
1956 53 James Wright The Green Wall [21]
1957 54 John Hollander A Crackling of Thorns [22]
1958 55 Dickey Of the Festivity [22]
1959 56 George Starbuck Bone Thoughts Dudley Fitts [22]
1960 57 Alan Dugan Poems [22]
1961 58 Jack Gilbert Views of Jeopardy [22]
1962 59 Sandra Hochman Manhattan Pastures [22]
1963 60 Peter Davison The Breaking of the Day [22]
1964 61 Jean Valentine Dream Barker [23]
1965 No winner selected [23]
1966 62 James Tate The Lost Pilot [23]
1967 63 Helen Chasin Coming Close and Other Poems [23]
1968 64 Judith Johnson Sherwin Uranium Poems [23]
1969 65 Hugh Seidman Collecting Evidence Stanley Kunitz [23]
1970 66 Peter Klappert Lugging Vegetables to Nantucket [23]
1971 67 Michael Casey Obscenities [24]
1972 68 Robert Hass Field Guide [24]
1973 69 Michael Ryan Threats Instead of Trees [24]
1974 70 Maura Stanton Snow on Snow [24]
1975 71 Carolyn Forché Gathering the Tribes [24]
1976 72 Olga Broumas Beginning with O [24]
1977 73 Bin Ramke The Difference Between Night and Day Richard Hugo [24]
1978 74 Leslie Ullman Natural Histories [24]
1979 75 William Virgil Davis One Way to Reconstruct the Scene [25]
1980 76 John Bensko Green Soldiers [25]
1981 77 David Wojahn Icehouse Lights [25]
1982 78 Cathy Song Picture Bride [25]
1983 79 Richard Kenney The Evolution of the Flightless Bird James Merrill [25]
1984 80 Pamela Alexander Navigable Waterways [25]
1985 81 George Bradley Terms to Be Met [25]
1986 82 Julie Agoos Above the Land [26]
1987 83 Brigit Pegeen Kelly To the Place of Trumpets [26]
1988 84 Thomas Bolt Out of the Woods [26]
1989 85 Daniel Hall Hermit with Landscape [26]
1990 86 Christiane Jacox Kyle Bears Dancing in the Northern Air James Dickey [26]
1991 87 Nicholas Samaras Hands of the Saddlemaker [26]
1992 88 Jody Gladding Stone Crop [26]
1993 89 Valerie Wohlfeld Thinking the World Visible [26]
1994 90 Tony Crunk Living in the Resurrection [27]
1995 91 Ellen Hinsey Cities of Memory [27]
1996 92 Talvikki Ansel My Shining Archipelago [27]
1997 No winner selected W. S. Merwin [28]
1998 93 Craig Arnold Shells [29]
1999 94 Davis McCombs Ultima Thule [29]
2000 95 Maurice Manning Lawrence Booth's Book of Visions [29]
2001 96 Sean Singer Discography [29]
2002 97 Loren Goodman Famous Americans [29]
2003 98 Peter Streckfus The Cuckoo [29]
2004 99 Richard Siken Crush Louise Glück [29]
2005 100 Jay Hopler Green Squall [29]
2006 101 Jessica Fisher Frail-Craft [29]
2007 102 Fady Joudah The Earth in the Attic [29]
2008 103 Arda Collins It Is Daylight [29]
2009 104 Ken Chen Juvenilia [29]
2010 105 Katherine Larson Radial Symmetry [29]
2011 106 Eduardo C. Corral Slow Lightning Carl Phillips [29]
2012 107 Will Schutt Westerly [29]
2013 108 Eryn Green Eruv [29]
2014 109 Ansel Elkins Blue Yodel [29]
2015 110 Noah Warren The Destroyer in the Glass [29]
2016 111 Airea D. Matthews simulacra [29]
2017 112 Duy Doan We Play a Game [29]
2018 113 Yanyi The Year of Blue Water [29]
2019 114 Jill Osier The Solace Is Not the Lullaby [30]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

CitationsEdit

  1. ^ Yale University Press 2019, p. 1.
  2. ^ Bradley 1998, p. xxix.
  3. ^ Bradley 1998, pp. xxxiii–xxxiv.
  4. ^ Bradley 1998, p. xxxiv.
  5. ^ Bradley 1998, p. xxxiv–xxxv.
  6. ^ Bradley 1998, p. xxii.
  7. ^ Bradley 1998, pp. xxiv–xxvi.
  8. ^ Bradley 1998, p. xxi.
  9. ^ Bradley 1998, pp. xxii–xxiii.
  10. ^ Bradley 1998, pp. xxiii–xxiv.
  11. ^ Bradley 1998, p. 50.
  12. ^ a b Davison 1998.
  13. ^ Alexander 2003, pp. 208–209.
  14. ^ O'Rourke 2008.
  15. ^ Phillips 2019, p. 389.
  16. ^ a b c d e f Bradley 1998, p. v.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Bradley 1998, p. vi.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Bradley 1998, p. vii.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h Bradley 1998, p. viii.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h Bradley 1998, p. ix.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bradley 1998, p. x.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g Bradley 1998, p. xi.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g Bradley 1998, p. xii.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h Bradley 1998, p. xiii.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g Bradley 1998, p. xiv.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h Bradley 1998, p. xv.
  27. ^ a b c Bradley 1998, p. xvi.
  28. ^ Phillips 2019b.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Phillips 2019, p. 392.
  30. ^ Harriet staff 2019.

SourcesEdit

Anon. (March 13, 2013). "Eryn Green Wins Yale Younger Poets Prize". Poets & Writers.
Anon. (February 17, 2015). "Carl Phillips Chooses Noah Warren As 2015 Yale Series Of Younger Poets Winner". Yale University Press.
Anon. (2019). "Yale Series of Younger Poets – Celebrating 100 Years [brochure]" (PDF). Yale University Press. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 16, 2019.
Alexander, Paul (2003). Rough Magic: A Biography of Sylvia Path (2nd. ed.). Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-81299-6 – via Google Books.
Bradley, George, ed. (1998). The Yale Younger Poets Anthology. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-07472-7 – via the Internet Archive (registration required).
Davison, Peter (June 1998). "Discovering Young Poets". The Atlantic.
Kellogg, Carolyn (March 3, 2014). "Yale Younger Poets Prize goes to Ansel Elkins". Los Angeles Times.
O'Rourke, Meghan (August 2008). "On Louise Glück and the Yale Series of Younger Poets". The Kenyon Review.
Phillips, Carl, ed. (2019). Firsts: 100 Years of Yale Younger Poets. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-24316-1 – via Google Books.
——— (October 23, 2019). "The Yale Younger Poets Prize: A Microcosm of the American Poetry Landscape". Literary Hub. Archived from the original on October 29, 2019.

External linksEdit