Originally published April 12, 2010 at 1:30 p.m., updated April 13, 2010 at 12:53 p.m.
UCSD professor of writing and literature Rae Armantrout has won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her collection "Versed."
Rae Armantrout, San Diego-based poet and UCSD professor, has won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for her collection "Versed." Culture Lust helped break the news to Armantrout, who has yet to hear from the Pulitzer Prize committee about her win (as of 12:40p.m. PST).
Here's how it went: I learned from Twitter that the awards were posted. I went to the site, noticed she won and immediately went into our program system to get her phone number. Then...computer crash. Noooooooo!
I immediately go to Plan B and call the publicist at UCSD and break the good news to her. She calls Armantrout, who doesn't know yet. According to the publicist, Armantrout was so surprised and excited, her comments were, well, not appropriate for broadcast.
I was able to talk to Armantrout shortly after and schedule an interview for this afternoon. She was still in complete shock when we talked. She had just taken a bath, was drying her hair for a lunch appointment and then boom, she gets a phone call learning she's won a Pulitzer Prize!
I'll have more when I talk to Armantrout after lunch, but in the meantime, here's our These Days interview with her from November of 2009. She reads from "Versed" in the interview (first reading at 4:10, second reading 8:13, third reading 10:11)
The collection is notable for the way Armantrout plays with language, her wit, and the way she writes about her experience living with cancer.