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Brett Easton Ellis has been tweeting lately about the “Gay Empire,” and if this season’s highest honors in poetry are any indication, he’s onto something. Less than two weeks after out poets D.A. Powell and Eleanor Lerman were both named 2011 Guggenheim Fellows, one-time poet laureate Kay Ryan has been awarded this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, for her collection The Best of It: New and Selected Work (Grove Press). J.D. McClatchy has described her as “an anomaly in today’s literary culture: as intense as elliptical as Dickinson, as buoyant and rueful as Frost.” Congratulations to Kay!
Along with Maurice Manning, ally Jean Valentine was also named a finalist. The poem “If a Person Visits Someone in a Dream, in Some Cultures the Dreamer Thanks Them”–from which her collection Break the Glass (Copper Canyon Press) draws its title–is dedicated to the memory of Reginald Shepherd.