Poet Jorie Graham has won the 2018 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry for her 2017 collection Fast. The biennial award, presented by the Library of Congress, recognizes the most distinguished book of poetry written by an American and published during the preceding two years.
Jorie Graham is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including From the New World, Place, and The Dream of the Unified Field which won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1996. Graham’s honors include the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She is the recipient of the 2017 Wallace Stevens Award and the LA Times Book Award Prize in Poetry. She is currently the Boylston Professor of Oratory and Rhetoric at Harvard University, a position first held by John Quincy Adams in 1806.
In Fast, her first new collection in five years, Graham explores the limits of the human and the uneasy seductions of the post-human. Conjuring an array of voices and perspectives–from bots, to the holy shroud, to the ocean floor, to a medium transmitting from beyond the grave–these poems give urgent form to the ever-increasing pace of transformation of our planet and ourselves. As it navigates cyber life, 3D-printed “life,” life after death, biologically, chemically, and electronically modified life, Fast lights up the border of our new condition as individuals and as a species on the brink.