Douglas Kearney Wins Two Book Prizes

Professor receives recognition for 2022 title Optic Subwoof
Close up color head and shoulders photo of Associate Professor Douglas Kearney

Congratulations to Professor Douglas Kearney, whose 2022 book Optic Subwoof (Wave) has won two recent prizes. In September, Kearney received the $10,000 Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism from the Poetry Foundation for the book. 

Optic Subwoof had already won the 2023 Firecracker Award for Creative Nonfiction, from the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP). The Firecracker Awards for Independently Published Literature are given annually to celebrate books and magazines that make a significant contribution to literary culture.

Optic Subwoof collects the talks that Professor Kearney presented for the Bagley Wright Lecture Series in 2020 and 2021. The Firecracker judges described the work as "sonic, polyphonic, urgent in delivery and in truth" and continued, “Beginning with the book’s first sentence— ‘Hush.’— readers are invited into a work of creative nonfiction where language is at its best and most playful and yet most serious. Optic Subwoof shows us how vital and limitless human creativity is.”

Kearney has published seven poetry collections, including Sho (Wave Books, 2021), which won the Griffin Poetry Award and the Minnesota Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award, the PEN/Voelcker Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. He is also the author of Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), winner of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award, the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry, and the California Book Award silver medal for poetry.

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