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Gerald SternGerald Stern
Bobbitt Prize Winner for 2012

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The biennial, privately funded $10,000 prize, given on behalf of the nation, recognizes the most distinguished book of poetry written by an American and published during the preceding two years. The prize is donated by the family of the late Mrs. Bobbitt of Austin, Tex., in her memory, and established at the Library of Congress. Bobbitt was the late President Lyndon B. Johnson's sister. While a graduate student in Washington, D.C., during the 1930s, Rebekah Johnson met college student O. P. Bobbitt when they both worked in the cataloging department of the Library of Congress. They married and returned to Texas.

The winner of the 2012 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry is Gerald Stern for his book Early Collected Poems: 1965-1992. The 2012 prize—the 12th to be given and the first to be given for a book of collected poems—is awarded for the most distinguished book of poetry published in the preceding two years, 2010 and 2011.  The volume was published by W. W. Norton in 2010. Read News Release

Full List of Bobbitt Prize Winners

  • 2012: Gerald Stern for Early Collected Poems: 1965-1992
  • 2010: Lucia Perillo for Inseminating the Elephant
  • 2008: Charles Wright for Lifetime Achievement and Bob Hicok for This Clumsy Living
  • 2006: W.S. Merwin for Present Company
  • 2004: B.H. Fairchild for Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest
  • 2002: Alice Fulton for Felt
  • 2000: David Ferry for Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems and Translations
  • 1998: Frank Bidart for Desire
  • 1996: Kenneth Koch for One Train
  • 1994: A.R. Ammons for Garbage
  • 1992: Louise Glück for Ararat and Mark Strand for The Continuous Life
  • 1990: James Merrill for The Inner Room