A few months ago, I was pleased to learn that my book Attention Equals Life: The Pursuit of the Everyday in Contemporary Poetry and Culture was shortlisted for the Modernist Studies Book Prize for 2016, one of the most important prizes in my field. My book was selected along with 4 other terrific books for this year’s short list. In their commendation, the MSA Book Prize committee wrote:
Attention Equals Life is the culmination of work from the past several years on modernism and the everyday, particularly American poetry moving toward the mid-century. The book is extremely readable for broad audiences and makes a compelling extension of discussions of the everyday, both from an American standpoint and with a focus on mid-century literary production. The nuanced attention to poetic language is convincing and the theoretical and philosophical argumentation is bested only by detailed analyses of poems, which are frequent and efficient. Close attention to the text itself is always diligently related to the American philosophical tradition so that textual analyses do not operate as mere illustrations but signal a new step in scholarship. This study challenges our perception of poetry as a genre and as a form – it raises new questions in terms of poetics, aesthetics, and ethics, and particularly how poetry works as a form of cultural and political action. Attention Equals Life is a completely convincing work.
For more about the prize, see here.