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Lee Upton, writer-in-residence and professor of English at Lafayette, has received two awards from the Poetry Society of America.

Upton was honored with the Lyric Poetry Award and The Writer Magazine/Emily Dickinson Award at the group’s 95th annual awards ceremony April 28 at The New School in New York City.

She received the Lyric Poetry Award for “And though she be but little, she is fierce,” a poem whose title is taken from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Award judge Susan Wheeler wrote of the poem, “It seems to put no foot in the wrong placeIt breaks anaphoras when they need to be broken; manifests a stellar synecdoche; and makes sparkling comparisons, both apt and unexpected. Though it be modest, the poem be steel.”

In his citation for the Dickinson award, judge Mark Doty wrote of Upton’s “Dickinson’s Day Lilies,” “Lee Upton does an extraordinarily difficult thing, illuminating a scene in the great poet’s biographyLee Upton’s poem forges a lush, memorable chain of figures for the gift of these blazing flowers, and for the fiery, defiant energy of the poet finding whatever she needs in the world for the forging of her art.”

Some of Upton’s poems will be published soon in The New Republic, American Poetry Review, and Vespertine, and her fiction has appeared in the most recent issues of The Antioch Review and in Ascent. A book of Upton’s literary criticism, Defensive Measures, is forthcoming this fall from Bucknell University Press.

Author of nine books, Upton is the recipient of a National Poetry Series Award and a Pushcart Prize, and was twice the winner of the Georgia Contemporary Poetry Series Award. At Lafayette she has been awarded the Mary Louise Van Artsdalen Award for Scholarship, the Jones Faculty Lecturer Award, and the Marquis Teaching Award. Upton’s most recent book of poetry, Civilian Histories, was published by University of Georgia Press.

“Upton is a very smart writer,” states Boston Review in an article reviewing Civilian Histories and another book. “Author of Obsession and Release: Rereading the Poetry of Louise Bogan and The Muse of Abandonment, among other titles, her critical work on such American poets as James Tate, Louise Gl├╝ck, and Charles Wright shows a reader intensely engaged with ways in which poets have written against absence or, more accurately, into felt absences and abandonmentsUpton’s Civilian Histories is a moving exploration that forces readers to realize how many censoring forces compel them into various captivities of history.”

Upton’s poetry has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harvard Review, Poetry, and many other journals. Her fiction has appeared in Shenandoah, Glimmer Train, Denver Quarterly, Bellingham Review, Del Sol Review, and other journals. Her articles and essays appear in Field: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, The Literary Review, Critique: Studies in Short Fiction, The Centennial Review, The South Atlantic Review, The Best Writing on Writing, and in other journals and edited collections. She is a contributing editor of the Pushcart Prize Anthology and the Denver Quarterly, and a member of the board of directors of Verse.

The Poetry Society of America is one of the most distinguished organizations promoting poetry. Among its first members were Robert Frost, W. H. Auden, Langston Hughes, Marianne Moore, and Wallace Stevens.

Categorized in: Academic News