THE HOUSE ON BOULEVARD ST., by LSU Press author David Kirby, has been selected as a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award in Poetry, sponsored by the National Book Foundation. A Baton Rouge native, Kirby is a graduate of University High School and LSU. The announcement was made today by author and social critic Camille Paglia. The winner in each of the four categories—Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature—will be announced at the National Book Awards Benefit Dinner and Ceremony in Manhattan on November 14, hosted by writer Fran Lebowitz. Each winner receives $10,000 plus a bronze statue; each finalist receives a bronze medal and a $1,000 cash award.
LSU Press is the only university press to have published a 2007 National Book Award finalist in any category. This is the sixth time an LSU Press poetry book has been a finalist for the prize. The most recent finalist was Brendan Galvin’s Habitat in 2005. Lisel Mueller’s The Need to Hold Still won in 1981. Kirby is the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English at Florida State University and the author of numerous books, including the poetry collections The Ha-Ha and The House of Blue Light. He is a recipient of the Brittingham Prize in Poetry and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other honors. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.
Other poetry finalists for 2007 include Linda Gregerson, Robert Haas, Stanley Plumley, and Ellen Bryant Voight, a group Kirby describes as “the Mount Rushmore of contemporary American poetry.” The finalists were selected by a distinguished panel of judges who were given the charge of selecting what they deem to be the best poetry book of the year.