Professor A. Van Jordan Wins the 2015 Lannan Literary Award for Poetry

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Henry Rutgers University Professor A. Van Jordan has won the prestigious 2015 Lannan Literary Award for poetry.

Bestowed by the Lannan Foundation since 1989, the Lannan Literary Award recognizes writers who have made significant contributions to English-language literature. 

Jordan joins a select 2015 class that includes Sara Baume (fiction), Layli Long Soldier (poetry), Philip Metres (poetry), Mark Nowak (poetry), all of whom won Lannan Fellowships. Jordan is the sole winner of the Lannan Award this year.

Jordan, who teaches in RU-N’s M.F.A. in Creative Writing program and English department, is the author of four collections of poetry: Rise (2001), which won the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award; M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A (2005), which was listed as one the Best Books of 2005 by The London Times; Quantum Lyrics (2007); and The Cineaste (2013).

Jordan’s work was selected for the anthology Best American Poetry 2013.

In addition to the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award, Jordan has received a Whiting Writers Award, an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and a Pushcart Prize. He was also a finalist for an NAACP Image Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and a United States Artists Fellowship.

Jordan has earned high praise from many of the nation’s most accomplished writers. Reviewers often remark on his capacity to shed light on human relations while covering a broad range of subjects, from quantum physics to classic and contemporary film.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky (Rutgers College ’62) has lauded Jordan’s work, saying it “demonstrates poetry's power to be at once intimate and wide-ranging.”

A resident of Newark, Jordan joined the RU-N faculty in fall 2014, coming from the University of Michigan. Prior to that, he taught at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the College of New Rochelle, and Prince George’s Community College.

Photo credit: Anthony Alvarez

Visit here to learn more about the Lannan Literary Award and Fellowship and to see current and past winners.