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October 16, 2006

Literature professor Nathaniel Mackey named National Book Award finalist

By Scott Rappaport

Literature professor Nathaniel Mackey has been named a finalist for the 2006 National Book Awards. The winners will be announced at a benefit ceremony hosted by writer Fran Lebowitz at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City on November 15. The awards are presented annually by the National Book Foundation.

Photo of Nathaniel Mackey

Nathaniel Mackey

Photo of cover of Splay Anthem by Nathaniel Mackey

Mackey is a finalist in the poetry category for his latest book, Splay Anthem. The finalists were selected by four panels of judges who were asked to choose the best books of the year from nearly 13,000 entries submitted by publishers.

“Many of this year's selections take risks in their narrative structure, voice and subject matter,” noted Harold Augenbraum, executive director of the National Book Foundation. “In every category, the nominated works represent powerful writing and new approaches to often difficult topics.”

As a poet, literary critic, fiction writer, and journal editor, Mackey has produced a wide variety of work over the past 27 years that has earned him national and international recognition. He delivered the 39th annual Faculty Research Lecture last February at UCSC.

Mackey is the author of nine books of poetry, including Four for Trane, Septet for the End of Time, Outlantish, and Song of the Andoumboulou, which are widely regarded as among the most innovative examples of contemporary American experimental writing. His 1985 poetry book, Eroding Witness, was selected for publication in the National Poetry Series. He received a Whiting Writer's Award in 1993 and was elected to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets in 2001, one of the highest honors in the field of poetry. Mackey joined the UCSC faculty in 1979.


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