Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize
Home Curators Recipients (active)
  2009 Recipients


The Diary
A Place Apart

A long-time resident of Charlottesville, Virginia, Eleanor Ross Taylor has been publishing books of poetry since 1960, when her impressive volume Wilderness of Ladies appeared. Taylor is the author of Welcome Eumenides, Days Going/Days Coming Back, Late Leisure, and two volumes of selected poems, most recently Captive Voices: New and Selected Poems, 1960-2008. She is the recipient of the Shelley Memorial Prize awarded by the Poetry Society of America, the Library of Virginia's Prize for Poetry, and the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American poetry.



Thinking About the Poet Larry Levis One Afternoon in Late May
From "Littlefoot:" 27
In Praise of What's Missing

Charles Wright's work is read and admired all over the world. Wright is the author of twenty-one volumes of poetry, two volumes of translations, and two volumes of “improvisations and interviews.” His poems have appeared ten times in The Best American Poetry series. He has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Griffin Poetry Prize, the PEN Translation Prize, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and he has twice won the Library of Virginia book award. In 1999 he was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. For nearly three decades he has taught poetry and writing at the University of Virginia.

  2008 Recipient


Homage to Blind Willie Johnson
Spirit Cabinet
The Assassination of John Lennon as Depicted by the Madame Tussaud Wax Museum,
Niagara Falls, Ontario, 1987

David Wojahn was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1953, and educated at the University of Minnesota and the University of Arizona. His first collection, Icehouse Lights, was chosen by Richard Hugo as a winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize, and published in 1982. The collection was also the winner of the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Book Award. His second collection, Glassworks, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 1987, and was awarded the Society of Midland Authors’ Award for best volume of poetry to be published during that year. Pittsburgh is also the publisher of four of his subsequent books, Mystery Train (1990), Late Empire (1994), The Falling Hour (1997) and Spirit Cabinet (2002). His most recent collection, Interrogation Palace: New and Selected Poems 1982-2004, was published by Pittsburgh in 2006, and was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the O. B. Hardison Award from the Folger Shakespeare Library. He is also the author of a collection of essays on contemporary poetry, Strange Good Fortune (University of Arkansas Press, 2001), and editor (with Jack Myers) of A Profile of 20th Century American Poetry (Southern Illinois University Press, 1991), and two posthumous collections of Lynda Hull’s poetry, The Only World (HarperCollins, 1995) and Collected Poems (Graywolf, 2006). He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Illinois and Indiana Councils for the Arts, and in 1987-88 was the Amy Lowell Traveling Poetry Scholar. He has taught at a number of institutions, among them Indiana University, the University of Chicago, the University of Houston, the University of Alabama, and the University of New Orleans. He is presently Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University, and is also a member of the program faculty of the MFA in Writing Program of Vermont College of the Fine Arts.

  2007 Recipient


Stringed Instrument Collection

Claudia Emerson was awarded the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her book Late Wife. She is also the author of Pharaoh, Pharaoh, Pinion: An Elegy, and a fourth collection, Figure Studies, which will appear in fall 2008.  All of Emerson's volumes are published in Dave Smith's Southern Messenger Poets series from LSU Press. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Southern Review, Shenandoah, TriQuarterly, New England Review, and other journals. Emerson is the recipient of a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Claudia Emerson and her husband, musician Kent Ippolito, live in Fredericksburg, where she is a professor of English and Arrington Distinguished Chair in Poetry at the University of Mary Washington.

  2006 Recipients


• That’s How I Spin
• Quarantine

Brian Henry grew up in the Richmond area and received his B.A. from the College of William and Mary as well as an M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has co-edited the international journal Verse since 1995 and was a Fulbright Scholar in Australia in 1997-98. In 2000, Arc Publications published his first book of poetry, Astronaut, which was subsequently shortlisted for the Forward Prize. Astronaut also appeared in Slovenia in translation from Mondena Publishing in 2000, and in the United States in 2002 from Carnegie Mellon University Press. Salt Publishing released his second book, American Incident, in 2002. His third book, Graft, appeared in 2003 from New Issues Press in the United States and from Arc in England. His fourth book, Quarantine, appeared from Ahsahta Press in 2006; Quarantine won the 2003 Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America. A limited edition book, In the Unlikely Event of a Water, appeared from Equipage in England in December 2006. His poems have appeared in numerous magazines around the world—including The New Republic, American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, Grand Street, Poetry Review, and Jacket—and in many anthologies and has been translated into Russian, Slovenian, and Croatian. Henry has reviewed poetry for the New York Times Book Review, the Times Literary Supplement, Jacket, The Kenyon Review, Boston Review, The Yale Review, and Poetry Review, among other publications, and his essays on poetry have appeared in The Antioch Review, The Georgia Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Iowa Review, and in several scholarly books. He is currently Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Richmond.



Luck's Shining Child
Three Night Poems
Feeling Good, Feeling Fine

George Garrett is the author of thirty-five books, including eight poetry collections, and editor or co-editor of twenty others. Garrett earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees at Princeton, and retired from the faculty of the University of Virginia after a forty-year teaching career. Among his honors and awards are the Rome Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Sewanee Review Fellowship in Poetry, fellowships from the Guggenheim, Ford, and Rockefeller Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts, the T.S. Eliot Award of the Ingersoll Foundation, the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died in 2008 in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he lived his final years with his wife of more than fifty years, writer Susan Garrett.

  2005 Recipients


Loss Without Ceremony
Like Young Men
The Californian

Elizabeth Seydel Morgan has published four books of poetry with Louisiana State University Press, most recently, Without a Philosophy, winner of the L.E. Philabaum Poetry Award. Her poetry has appeared in many anthologies, including Poetry Daily and Billy Collins' Poetry 180, as well as periodicals such as Poetry, Southern Review, Georgia Review, Iowa Review and The Virginia Quarterly Review. Online, her work has appeared in Cortland Review, Blackbird and Poetry Daily. Morgan has also written short stories honored by awards from The VQR and Southern Review, a screenplay that won the Governor's Award at the Virginia Film Festival, and a translation of Euripides' Electra for the Penn Greek Drama Series, University of Pennsylvania Press. Morgan studied creative writing with Louis D. Rubin, Jr., at Hollins College, and poetry writing with Dave Smith for her MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University. She initiated the creative writing courses at St. Catherine's and St. Christopher's school, which she taught for twenty years. She has also taught poetry writing at University of Richmond, Washington and Lee University, Randolph Macon Women's College, Virginia Correctional Center for Women and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Studio School. Morgan received an NEH grant to study at Harvard Summer Seminars with Helen Vendler, and eight fellowships for residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.  She was Louis D. Rubin Writer-in-Residence at Hollins University in 2007, and in 2008 she will teach in France and at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently past-president of the Richmond Public Library Foundation.



High Above Terracina
Autumn Drab
The Soldiers Caught the Boys Near the Top of the Hill

Ron Smith is the author of Running Again in Hollywood Cemetery, runner-up for the National Poetry Series Open Competition and the Samuel French Morse Prize, and subsequently published by University Presses of Florida. His book Moon Road: Poems 1986-2005 was published in 2007 by Louisiana State University Press. His poems have appeared in many periodicals, including The Nation, Kenyon Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, New England Review, Georgia Review, Southern Review, Ascent, and in anthologies from Wesleyan University Press, Time-Life Books, University of Virginia Press, University of Georgia Press, University of Illinois Press, and elsewhere. His essay-reviews have appeared in a number of journals and reference works. He is the poetry reviewer for The Richmond Times-Dispatch and writes a poetry column, "Red Guitar," for the online magazine Blackbird. He has taught courses in creative writing, American poetry, and Edgar Allan Poe at Mary Washington College, Virginia Commonwealth University, and University of Richmond. Ron Smith is the first-ever Writer-in-Residence at St. Christopher's School in Richmond, Virginia, where he has also held the Robert Bugg and George Squires Chairs of Distinguished Teaching.

© 2006 Carole Weinstein. All rights reserved.