Nathaniel Mackey Receives Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize
May 8, 2014
Nathaniel Mackey received this year’s $100,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, an annual award given by the Poetry Foundation to a U.S. poet for outstanding lifetime achievement. Mackey’s first book of poems, Eroding Witness, was a National Poetry Series selection in 1985. His collection, Splay Anthem, from 2006, won the National Book Award. He is Reynolds Price Professor of Creative Writing at Duke University.
“The poetry of [Mackey] continues an American bardic line that unfolds from Whitman’s Leaves of Grass to H.D.’s Trilogy to Olson’s Maximus poems, winds through the whole of Robert Duncan’s work and extends beyond all of these, say Don Share, editor of Poetry magazine. “…[his] words always go where music goes: a brilliant and major accomplishment.”
In an interview discussing this lifetime achievement award at the Poetry Foundation website, Mackey said of his writing, “I feel like I’m just getting started.”