UC San Diego Awards 2007 Roy Harvey Pearce
Prize to Poet and Professor Nathaniel Mackey

November 8, 2007

By Paul K. Mueller

Photo of Nathaniel Mackey, recipient of UC San Diego’s 2007 Roy Harvey Pearce Prize.

Nathaniel Mackey, recipient of UC San Diego’s 2007 Roy Harvey Pearce Prize.

Photo credit: Lorenzo Ciniglio

Nathaniel Mackey, award-winning poet and professor of literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is the recipient of the 2007 Roy Harvey Pearce/Archive for New Poetry Prize, awarded biennially by the Archive for New Poetry at the University of California, San Diego.

The Pearce Prize, funded by the Friends of the UCSD Libraries, honors an individual who has obtained wide acclaim as both a poet and as a scholar of contemporary American poetics. In making its selection, the jury cited Mackey’s mastery of sentence, syntax, symbol and cultural sign and the intellectual presence and aesthetic elegance of his work.

The award ceremony, which will include a reading of recent and forthcoming work by Mackey, will be held at 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, in the Seuss Room of Geisel Library on the UCSD campus. A reception will follow immediately after the ceremony. The public is invited to attend.

The prize is named for Roy Harvey Pearce, a founding member of UC San Diego’s Department of Literature, recognized authority on American poetry, and founder of the university’s Archive for New Poetry, one of the most extensive collections of experimental American writing in the world.

Mackey’s most recent book of poetry, Splay Anthem, is the winner of the 2006 National Book Award for Poetry. His 1985 book, Eroding Witness, was selected for publication in the National Poetry Series. Other books of poetry include Four for Trane, Septet for the End of Time, Outlantish, School of Udhra, Whatsaid Serif and Four for Glenn.

With Art Lange, Mackey has also co-edited the anthology Moment’s Notice: Jazz in Poetry and Prose.

Mackey is also the author of the ongoing epistolary fiction From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate, of which three volumes have been published: Bedouin Hornbook, Djbot Baghostus’s Run, and Atet A.D. A fourth volume, Bass Cathedral, will be published by New Directions in early 2008.

Mackey received a Whiting Writers’ Award in 1993 and was elected to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets in 2001. In addition, he has been the editor of one of the West Coast’s most distinguished, eclectic, and long-lasting literary journals, Hambone, since 1974.

The Roy Harvey Pearce Prize was established in 1995 to pay homage to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s concept of the poet-scholar. Previous winners include Susan Howe (1996), Charles Bernstein (1999), Rachel Blau DuPlessis, and Michael Davidson. DuPlessis and Davidson, with Adalaide Morris of the University of Iowa, were the judges for this year’s prize.


Comment: Rob Melton, 858-534-7573
Media Contact: Paul K. Mueller, 858-534-8564

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