Ben Lerner, who teaches in the MFA Program in Writing and the Writing and Literature Program, has been selected as a National Book Award finalist in the poetry category, for his book "Angle of Yaw" (Copper Canyon Press).
The announcement was made yesterday by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti at City Lights Books in San Francisco.
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 New York City on November 15, 2006. The dinner will be hosted by writer Fran Lebowitz.
Each winner receives $10,000 plus a bronze statue; each finalist receives $1,000 plus a bronze medal.
The finalists were selected by four panels of judges. Their decisions were made independent of the National Book Foundation, and their deliberations were confidential.
The judges for the poetry category were James Longenbach (chair), Jimmy Santiago Baca, Li-Young Lee, Claudia Rankine, and C. D. Wright.
To be eligible for a 2006 National Book Award, a book must have been published in the United States between December 1, 2005, and November 30, 2006, and must have been written by a United States citizen. This year the judges chose from a record 1,259 entries submitted by publishers.
About Ben Lerner
Ben Lerner is from Topeka, Kansas. His first book, "The Lichtenberg Figures," won the Hayden Carruth Award from Copper Canyon Press and was named by Library Journal as one of the best books of poetry published in 2004.
A former Fulbright Scholar in Spain, Lerner cofounded and coedits "No: A Journal of the Arts."