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Professor makes long list for National Book Awards

September 17, 2013

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Mary Szybist, associate professor of English, has made the long list for the 2013 National Book Award in Poetry with her latest collection, Incarnadine. She joins nine of the country’s preeminent writers of contemporary poetry, which include a National Book Award Finalist and two Pulitzer Prize finalists.

Szybist’s first poetry collection, Granted, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writing Award, and a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress.

Her latest collection, Incarnadine, explores religious iconography and was inspired by time spent in the art museums of Italy. “I was struck by how relatively few scenes—nearly all of them religious—were the subjects of most of the paintings,” Szybist told the Oregonian. “On the one hand, I felt relief that artists are no longer confined to such narrow subject matter. On the other hand, so many astonishing paintings emerged from those confines. To what extent had those limitations enabled the art?”

Read more Incarnadine coverage:

The National Book Award finalists will be announced on October 16, and the winners will be named at a gala dinner and ceremony in New York on November 20.

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