Creatures of a Day, by LSU Press author Reginald Gibbons, has been selected as a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award in Poetry, sponsored by the National Book Foundation. The announcement was made today by best-selling author Scott Turrow. 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 19, hosted by writer and actor Eric Bogosian. Each winner receives $10,000 plus a bronze statue; each finalist receives a bronze medal and a $1,000 cash award.
This is the second year in a row that LSU Press is the only university press to have published a National Book Award finalist in any category. This is the seventh time an LSU Press poetry book has been a finalist for the prize and the third time in five years. The most recent finalist was David Kirby’s The House on Boulevard Street in 2007. Brendan Galvin’s Habitat was a finalist in 2005 and Lisel Mueller’s The Need to Hold Still won in 1981.
Reginald Gibbons is the author of seven previous volumes of poetry, translations of Spanish and Mexican poetry and ancient Greek tragedy, a short story collection, and a novel, and he served as editor of TriQuarterly from 1981 to 1997. He has won the O. B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and other honors. A native of Texas, he now lives in Evanston, Illinois, where he is a professor of English and classics at Northwestern University.
Other poetry finalists for 2008 include Frank Bidart, Mark Doty, Richard Howard, and Patricia Smith. 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.