Stanford lecturer wins poetry prize

Brittany Perham (Image Credit: Lisa Beth Anderson)
Brittany Perham (Image Credit: Lisa Beth Anderson)

BRITTANY PERHAM, Jones Lecturer in the Creative Writing Program, has won the 2016 Barnard Women Poets Prize. Perham was selected for the honor by poet and playwright CLAUDIA RANKINE.

The Barnard Women Poets Prize is awarded for the best second collection of poems by a female American poet. The award is designed to support writers in the early stages of their careers. Perham’s Double Portrait will be published by W.W. Norton & Company. Each poem in Double Portrait links two portraits: lover and beloved, citizen and country, spirit and body, living and dead, and prioritizes doubling, mirroring and refrain.

In a press release, Rankine said, “Double Portrait, by turns playful, mournful, indulgent, musical, insightful and all the way human, comes clean about our most driving desires. In the tradition of love poems to the beloved or the parent or the world, Brittany Perham takes exuberance to the forms that complement it. Imaginative and familiar, the result is full of humor that is both rueful and sensual.”

Perham, who is also the author of The Curiosities, will receive a monetary award and will have the opportunity to read at Barnard College in fall 2017.

Perham describes winning the prize as like a great dream. “That feeling was magnified because Claudia Rankine judged the prize. I admire her writing and I teach her work in many of my classes here at Stanford. So I am honored that she saw something in the poems and selected the book.”