Barbara Jane Reyes has been selected as the recipient of the 2005 James Laughlin Award for her second collection of poems, Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press) Order Your Copy Now. The James Laughlin Award is given to commend and support a poet's second book of poetry. The award was established by a gift to the Academy from the Drue Heinz Trust in honor of the poet and publisher James Laughlin (1914 - 1997). Ms. Reyes will receive a cash prize of $5,000, and the Academy will purchase copies of Poeta en San Francisco for distribution to its members. This year's judges were James Longenbach, Susan Stewart, and Elizabeth Alexander.
Ms. Reyes was born in Manila, Philippines, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her undergraduate education at the University of California Berkeley and her MFA in Creative Writing (poetry) at San Francisco State University. Her work was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and appears or is forthcoming in Asian Pacific American Journal, Chain, Interlope, Nocturnes (Re)view, North American Review, Tinfish, Versal, in the anthologies Babaylan (Aunt Lute, 2000), Eros Pinoy (Anvil, 2001), Going Home to a Landscape (Calyx, 2003), Not Home But Here (Anvil, 2003), Pinoy Poetics (Meritage, 2004), and forthcoming in Red Light: Superheroes, Saints and Sluts (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp, 2005), and Graphic Poetry (Hong Kong: Victionary, 2005). Her first book, Gravities of Center, was published by Arkipelago Books (San Francisco) in 2003.
From the judge's citation for the James Laughlin Award:
"If William Blake were alive and well and sitting on a eucalyptus branch in the hills above the bay, this is the poetry he would aspire to write." James Longenbach