Jennifer K. Sweeney’s collection How to Live on Bread and Music (Perugia Press) received the 2009 James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets, which gives $5,000 to the most outstanding second book by an American poet each year. The book was chosen by poets Robin Becker, Bob Hicok, and Afaa Michael Weaver.
About the selection, Weaver says, “Jennifer K. Sweeney’s How to Live on Bread and Music is a remarkable achievement from the hand of a poet with a subtle and compassionate mindfulness. These poems tell us we move forward in moments when motion seems all too risky and stillness all too intolerable. Adept at the delicate project of inventiveness in the line, she shows us time and again that language is the matter of the poet and that there is surprise in the gift, as this book is sure evidence of the gift.”
The James Laughlin Award is the only second-book award for poetry in the United States. Offered since 1954, the award was endowed in 1995 by a gift to the Academy from the Drue Heinz Trust. It is named for the poet and publisher James Laughlin, who founded New Directions Publishing Corp.
Read more about the James Laughlin Award.