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.
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
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.