2012 Winner: David Livewell
Shackamaxon (forthcoming September 2012)
The T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry
The T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry is an annual award for the best unpublished book-length collection of poetry in English, in honor of native Missourian T. S. Eliot’s considerable intellectual and artistic legacy. The purpose of the T. S. Eliot Prize is to publish and promote contemporary English-language poetry, regardless of a poet’s nationality, reputation, stage in career, or publication history.
Truman State University Press offers $2,000 and publication of the winning collection.
Alan Soldofsky, "In the Buddha Factory"
Sarah M. Wells, "Pruning Burning Bushes"
Katherine E. Young, "Day of the Border Guards"
Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers, "Chord Box"
Sandra McPherson, 2012 Judge’s comments
David Livewell has an affectionate way of collecting his thoughts, the poems’ impulses, his personal and shared history. In the book’s beginning he collects “Philly Things”: at the summation he and his loved ones collect together. He writes with a formal “at-homeness,” with classic rhythm he warms with imagery of the environment he shares with local and national history. Wasps on a baseball diamond, “flame-cast shadows” singeing walls: Livewell’s poems glisten with surprises of light. Through listing the abundance of his interests, he concludes, “The breathtaking and painstaking are one.” It is a book of marvelous acceptance.
David Livewell grew up in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. He has taught poetry courses at La Salle University, and his works have appeared in such journals as Poetry, Threepenny Review, Yale Review, The Sewanee Review, The New Criterion, and Southwest Review. His new collection, Shackamaxon, has won the 2012 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry and will be published by Truman State Universiy Press in September.
Other work can be found in Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (Penn State University Press) and in Woven Light: Poems and Photographs from Andrew Wyeth’s Pennsylvania (www.blurb.com). He was one of the founding members of Janus: A Journal of Literature, received the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize in 2005 and 2006, and has been the recipient of a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Poetry Fellowship. He lives with his wife and two children in New Jersey.