January 26, 2015

SIU Press poetry collection is an award finalist

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A poetry collection on the Southern Illinois University Press imprint is a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. 

The poetry collection “Abide” by Jake Adam York is part of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry, a co-publishing venture of SIU’s national literary journal, “Crab Orchard Review,” and SIU Press. Described as “a memorial in verse,” the poems are anthems to those slain during the civil rights movement during the tumultuous years between 1954 and 1968. The narratives include details of family life in the South, and refer to cultural icons as diverse as Sun Ra and Howlin’ Wolf. 

This collection is the final volume of York’s lifework. Two of his other three poetry collections are also SIU Press publications. The poet died in December 2012. 

“Having Jake Adam York’s poetry collection ‘Abide’ recognized as a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award is a major honor for Southern Illinois University Press and the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry,” Jon Tribble, managing editor of “Crab Orchard Review” and the poetry series, said. “The NBCC represents hundreds of critics, book reviewers, literary bloggers, authors, students and publishing personnel. Along with the Pulitzer Prizes and the National Book Awards, these awards are among the highest honors given annually in all of American publishing.” 

The NBCC names five finalists each for awards in six categories -- autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry – for books published during the preceding year.  The final awards presentation is at the New School in New York City on March 12.