Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

Jun 5th, 2011 in Poetry

Matthew Zapruder recently won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry with his book, Come on All You Ghosts.

We highly recommend this collection.  Zapruder takes the everyday happenstance and applies boatloads of texture to render haunting and whimsically simple vive-vignettes.  Check out one of the poems from this collection, Global Warming below.

“Global Warming”

In old black and white documentaries
sometimes you can see
the young at a concert or demonstration
staring in a certain way as if
a giant golden banjo
is somewhere sparkling
just too far off to hear.
They really didn’t know there was a camera.
Cross legged on the lawn
they are patiently listening to speeches
or the folk singer hunched
over his little brown guitar.
They look as tired as the young today.
The calm manner in which their eyes
just like the camera rest
on certain things then move
to others shows they know
no amount of sunlight
will keep them from growing suddenly older.
I have seen the new five dollar bills
with their huge pink hypertrophied numbers
in the lower right hand corner and feel
excited and betrayed.
Which things should never change?
The famous cherry trees
I grew up under
drop all their brand new buds
a little earlier each year.
Now it’s all over before the festival begins.
The young.
Maybe they’ll let us be in their dreams.


  • e–A lot of people prefer Zapruder’s The Pajamaist to the Pulitzer winner. So check ’em both. Some of our favorite American/Americanized poets are, unsurprisingly, Billy Collins, Mary Oliver and Charles Simic. Amongst the more recent collections, we’ve particularly enjoyed Bob Hicok and Terrance Hayes (his “Lighthead” collection especially).

  • Philistine that I am, I am often challenged by all but the very best poetry. It seems to take a sledgehammer of quality to dent my poetry-inhibited brain. One, among many, intellectual (spiritual?) shortcomings.

    If Zapruder is good enough both for Pulitzer and Lefort, that may be enough to merit giving him a try. Have you read the whole book featured in this post? Worthwhile? I have a long airplane trip coming up…


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