Amy Catanzano, the winner of Fordham University’s 2007-2008 Poets Out Loud (POL) book prize, has been awarded the 2010 PEN USA Literary Award for Poetry for her book Multiversal(Fordham University Press, 2009).
The awards were announced Sept. 8 by PEN USA. Established in 1982, the annual PEN awards program is a unique regional competition that recognizes outstanding literary works in 10 categories: fiction, creative nonfiction, research nonfiction, poetry, children’s literature, translation, journalism, drama, teleplay and screenplay.
Past award winners include Barbara Kingsolver, Maxine Hong Kingston, T.C. Boyle, Alice Walker and Paul Thomas Anderson.
Catanzano is a lecturer at Naropa University and managing editor of the University’s literary magazine Bombay Gin. She is also the author of iEpiphany (Erudite Fangs Editions, 2008), and the e-chapbook, the heartbeat is a fractal (Ahadada Books, 2009). She holds a master of fine arts degree in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop
In judging Catanzano’s book for the POL book prize, poet Michael Palmer wrote, “In a time of displacement such as ours, she seems to say, in place of ‘universals’ we must imagine ‘multiversals,’ in place of the fixed, the metamorphic.”
Fordham University Press published the 88-page volume as part of Catanzano’s POL book prize, which included a cash stipend. POL has sponsored the annual competition for a full-length poetry manuscript since 1999, and still celebrates it through a reading by the winning poet and judge in the POL series at Fordham Lincoln Center. This year, POL plans to release two volumes of poetry in the series rather than one. The judge will be poet Mei-mei Berssenbrugge.
“The PEN Prize for poetry is a major national award so I am deeply gratified to see Amy’s brilliant book recognized in this way,” said Elisabeth Frost, Ph.D., associate professor of English and the POL Prize series editor. “It is wonderful to have attention drawn to the the POL Prize and the superb books issued by the Press in the series.”
The PEN awards will be presented at the 20th Annual Literary Awards Festival, known as LitFest, to be held in November in Beverly Hills.