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Rigoberto González Wins 2014 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize

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Rutgers University–Newark’s Rigoberto González, professor of English, has won the prestigious Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for his book Unpeopled Eden (Four Way Books, 2013).

Awarded by the Academy of American Poets since 1994, this $25,000 prize recognizes the most outstanding book of poetry published in the United States in the previous year. Past recipients include Wanda Coleman, Mark Jarman, Adrienne Rich, and Stanley Kunitz.

Celebrated poet Kwame Dawes, who sat on the panel of judges, said this about González’s book: “When a single title is a complex and evocative poem, and when such titles recur throughout a collection of poems, we know we are experiencing a work of signature authority, beauty, urgency and necessity. ... Rigoberto González is an important American poet, and Unpeopled Eden is a very, very important book.”

This is the second major prize that González has picked up for Unpeopled Eden. In June, the volume won the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry.

González, a New York City resident, is the author of 15 books of poetry and prose, and the editor of Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing (U. of Arizona Press, 2010). He is the recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, winner of the American Book Award, The Poetry Center Book Award, The Shelley Memorial Award of The Poetry Society of America, and a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts. He is contributing editor for Poets & Writers magazine, and serves on the executive board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle. For 10 years González wrote a monthly book review column for the El Paso Times of Texas, the only column in the nation’s newspapers dedicated exclusively to Latino literature

González has been a member of the faculty at Rutgers–Newark since 2008, teaching in the acclaimed MFA in Creative Writing Program.

Visit here to learn more about the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and to see past winners.