Gregory Pardlo wins 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

PardloOn an unabashedly glorious afternoon this week, the poet and essayist Phillip Lopate stood in front of a small group of graduate students in Columbia University’s creative writing program. He took attendance, noting a few absences, before turning to a discussion about the German filmmaker Harun Farocki.

But first he singled out a student sitting at the lecture table, who was fiddling with his pen and notebook, with a backpack stuffed full of library books at his feet.

“I just want to embarrass Greg and make an announcement,” Mr. Lopate said. “He just won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.”

Gregory Pardlo smiled broadly, muttered his thanks and did not look terribly embarrassed.

The day had already been a surreal blur, beginning with congratulatory emails, texts, and messages on Facebook and Twitter, then hugs and handshakes as Mr. Pardlo made his way to class at Columbia, where he is a teaching fellow and earning an M.F.A. in nonfiction. “I was going to get a slow clap going for you in the hallway,” one student teasingly told him.

Read the full article here.

1 thought on “Gregory Pardlo wins 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

  1. Liked this one:

    Double Dutch
    By Gregory Pardlo

    The girls turning double-dutch
    bob & weave like boxers pulling
    punches, shadowing each other,
    sparring across the slack cord
    casting parabolas in the air. They
    whip quick as an infant’s pulse
    and the jumper, before she
    enters the winking, nods in time
    as if she has a notion to share,
    waiting her chance to speak. But she’s
    anticipating the upbeat
    like a bandleader counting off
    the tune they are about to swing into.
    The jumper stair-steps into mid-air
    as if she’s jumping rope in low-gravity,
    training for a lunar mission. Airborne a moment
    long enough to fit a second thought in,
    she looks caught in the mouth bones of a fish
    as she flutter-floats into motion
    like a figure in a stack of time-lapse photos
    thumbed alive. Once inside,
    the bells tied to her shoestrings rouse the gods
    who’ve lain in the dust since the Dutch
    acquired Manhattan. How she dances
    patterns like a dust-heavy bee retracing
    its travels in scale before the hive. How
    the whole stunning contraption of girl and rope
    slaps and scoops like a paddle boat.
    Her misted skin arranges the light
    with each adjustment and flex. Now heather-
    hued, now sheen, light listing on the fulcrum
    of a wrist and the bare jutted joints of elbow
    and knee, and the faceted surfaces of muscle,
    surfaces fracturing and reforming
    like a sun-tickled sleeve of running water.
    She makes jewelry of herself and garlands
    the ground with shadows.

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