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The Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

The Pulitzer Prize has been awarded by Columbia University since 1917. The awards are given on the recommendations of a board of jurors for Journalism, Letters, Music and Drama. The awards for Letters include Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Biography or Autobiography, and History.


The Shadow of SiriusThe Shadow of Sirius by W. S. Merwin

"In his personal anonymity, his strict individuated manner, his defense of the earth, and his heartache at time's passing, Merwin has become instantly recognizable on the page; he has made for himself that most difficult of creations, an accomplished style." Helen Vendler, New York Review of Books (read more)

2008 (Two Winners)

Time and MaterialsTime and Materials by Robert Hass

"The title suggests more hopefully that poetry is a craft, like carpentry: this book contains Hass's best and most careful verse in almost 30 years." New York Times (read more)
Failure: PoemsFailure: Poems by Philip Schultz

"Life goes on for Schultz, and he continues to write about it with greater conversational sweetness than any other American poet one can readily call to mind." Booklist (read more)



Native GuardNative Guard by Natasha Trethewey

Through elegiac verse that honors her mother and tells of her own fraught childhood, Natasha Trethewey confronts the racial legacy of her native Deep South — where one of the first black regiments, the Louisiana Native Guards, was called into service during the Civil War. Trethewey's resonant and beguiling collection is a haunting conversation between personal experience and national history. (read more)


Late Wife: Poems Late Wife: Poems by Claudia Emerson

"Claudia Emerson's Late Wife tells the story of love lost and redeemed. Her poetry explores the way we attach meaning to things without us and connect them with our inner lives. In her hands heartbreak and healing turn as tangible as the material world she observes with such love and such precision." Mark Jarman (read more)


Delights & ShadowsDelights & Shadows by Ted Kooser

"Kooser documents the dignities, habits and small griefs of daily life, our hunger for connection, our struggle to find balance." Poetry (read more)


Walking to Martha's Vineyard Walking to Martha's Vineyard by Franz Wright

"Terse and consistent, Wright's 15th book...returns to the haunted territory of The Beforelife with a wider range of formal tools. Heartfelt but often cryptic poems....His best work may be his least typical." Publishers Weekly (read more)


Moy Sand and Gravel Moy Sand and Gravel by Paul Muldoon

Publisher Comments
Paul Muldoon's ninth collection of poems, his first since Hay (1998), finds him working a rich vein that extends from the rivery, apple-heavy County Armagh of the 1950s, in which he was brought up, to suburban New Jersey, on the banks of a canal dug by Irish navvies, where he now lives. (read more)


Practical Gods Practical Gods by Carl Dennis

Publisher Comments
Practical Gods is the eighth collection by Carl Dennis, a critically acclaimed poet and recent winner of one of the most prestigious poetry awards, the Ruth Lilly Prize. Carl Dennis has won acclaim for "wise, original, and often deeply moving" poems that "ease the reader out of accustomed modes of seeing and perceiving" (New York Times). (read more)

2001 Different Hours: Poems by Stephen Dunn
2000 Repair: Poems by C. K. Williams
1999 Blizzard of One: Poems by Mark Strand
1998 Black Zodiac: Poems by Charles Wright
1997 Alive Together: New and Selected Poems by Lisel Mueller
1996 Dream of the Unified Field by Jorie Graham
1995 The Simple Truth: Poems by Philip Levine
1994 Neon Vernacular by Yusef Komunyakaa
1993 Wild Iris by Louise Gluck
1992 Selected Poems by James Tate
1991 Near Changes: Poems by Mona Van Duyn
1990 The World Doesn't End by Charles Simic
1989 New and Collected Poems by Richard Wilbur
1988 Partial Accounts: New & Selected Poems by William Meredith
1987 Thomas and Beulah: Poems by Rita Dove
1986 Flying Change: Poems by Henry Taylor
1985 Yin: New Poems by Carolyn Kizer
1984 American Primitive by Mary Oliver
1983 A New Selected Poems by Galway Kinnell
1982 Colleced Poems Reissue by Sylvia Plath
1981 The Morning of the Poem by James Schuyler
1980 Selected Poems by Donald Rodney Justice
1979 Now and Then: Poems 1976-1978 by Robert Penn Warren
1978 Collected Poems by Howard Nemerov
1977 Divine Comedies by James Merrill
1976 Self Portrait by John Ashbery
1975 Turtle Island by Gary Snyder
1974 Dolphin by Robert Lowell
1973 Up Country by Maxine Kumin
1972 The Collected Poems by James Arlington Wright
1971 The Carrier of Ladders by William S. Merwin
1970 Untitled Subjects by Richard Howard
1969 Of Being Numerous by George Oppen
1968 Hard Hours by Anthony Hecht
1967 Live or Die by Anne Sexton
1966 Selected Poems 1930-1965 by Richard Eberhart
1965 77 Dream Songs by John Berryman
1964 At the End of the Open Road by Louis Simpson
1963 Pictures From Brueghel and Other Poems by William Carlos Williams
1962 Poems by Alan Dugan
1961 Times Three: Selected Verse From Three Decades by Phyllis McGinley
1960 Heart's Needle by W. D. Snodgrass
1959 Selected Poems 1928-1958 by Stanley Kunitz
1958 Promises: Poems 1954-1956 by Robert Penn Warren
1957 Things of This World by Richard Wilbur
1956 North & South by Elizabeth Bishop
1955 The Collected Poems by Wallace Stevens
1954 The Waking by Theodore Roethke
1953 Collected Poems 1917- 1952 by Archibald MacLeish
1952 Collected Poems by Marianne Moore
1951 Complete Poems by Carl Sandburg
1950 Annie Allen by Gwendolyn Brooks
1949 Terror and Decorum: Poems 1940-1948 by Peter Viereck
1948 The Age of Anxiety by W. H. Auden
1947 Lord Weary's Castle by Robert Lowell
1946 No award.
1945 V-Letter and Other Poems by Karl Shapiro
1944 Western Star by Stephen Vincent Benet
1943 A Witness Tree by Robert Frost
1942 The Dust Which Is God by William Rose Benet

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