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University of Redlands professor wins 2007 PEN poetry award

Redlands Daily Facts, September 30th, 2007

University of Redlands professor wins 2007 PEN poetry award Article Launched: 09/30/2007 12:31:19 AM PDT

REDLANDS - Ralph Angel, a distinguished professor of English and creative writing, has been honored with the 2007 PEN USA Award for Poetry for his most recent collection, "Exceptions and Melancholies: Poems 1986-2006." He is one of two University of Redlands professors to have earned the prestigious writing award. Recipients of the literary awards were chosen by a panel of writers, editors and journalists. Winners were selected from among more than 500 entries.

Angel will be presented the award and a cash prize at the annual Literary Awards Festival Gala Dinner (LitFest) held on Nov. 6 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

According to this year's PEN poetry judges, "in his collection of selected poems, `Exceptions and Melancholies,' Ralph Angel has written poems of a sublime abstract lyricism. His work is striking for its provocative inventiveness, and it reflects a highly speculative poetic intelligence, one that's both philosophically elegant and lyrically charged. Meditative and mysterious, Angel's poetry tracks the subtle oscillations of consciousness against the backdrop of a culturally shifting and spiritually depleted world.

While many of the collections in this year's competition were strong,

Angel's book shows ongoing artistic growth and a cohesiveness that spans twenty years. His work continually surprises the reader with the aesthetic risks it takes. Yet, it is still possible to see the development of this poet's complex consciousness and deep humanity from his most recent poems back through the earliest work in this collection."

Awards from PEN USA, the West Coast center for the writers' organization International PEN, honor outstanding work by writers in ten separate genres. Leslie Brody, a professor of English and creative writing at the University of Redlands, also received a PEN USA Award for Creative Nonfiction in 1999 for her composition "Red Star Sister."

Angel is the Edith R. White Distinguished Professor of English and creative writing at the university and also a faculty member of the MFA Program in Writing at Vermont College.

He is also the author of the books of poetry "Anxious Latitudes" (1986), "Neither World" (1995), which received the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets, "Twice Removed" (2001), which was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Awards, and of a translation of Federico Garc a Lorca's "Poem of a Deep Song."

His poems have appeared in scores of magazines and anthologies, both here and abroad. Recent literary awards include a gift from the Elgin Cox Trust, a Pushcart Prize, the Willis Barnstone Poetry Translation Prize, a Gertrude Stein Award, a Fulbright Foundation fellowship and the Bess Hokin Award of the Modern Poetry Association.

 


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Thurber

He is named after Clarence Howe Thurber, University president from 1933-37.

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