File this under, “Who Says Poetry Doesn’t Pay?” The News Blog of the Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Frank Bidart has won the 2007 Bollingen Prize for Poetry. (If you look at the URL on the link, it appears that the first draft misspelled the award’s name.) The prize is given by the Yale University Library and carries a cool $100,000 cash award.
Mr. Bidart, who has written four volumes of poetry, was cited by the award’s judging panel as "a poet whose work exemplifies consistent originality of theme, sustained linguistic and formal explorations, and a strong sense of the profoundly serious and adventurous nature of the poetic calling."
$100,000 for “sustained linguistic and formal explorations”? I’ve been paid 10 cents a word for workmanlike infotainment — I’m in the wrong line of work!
Seriously, I kid the poets, but I celebrate their paydays. Every time a writer cashes a check instead of a CEO, the world inches one millimeter toward balance.
More information and actual poems can be found on the original press release.