Abayomi Animashaun: On Winning the Hudson Prize

Animashaun CoverPoet Abayomi Animashaun talks about his experience winning the 2008 Hudson Prize for his sublime collection The Giving of Pears:
“For me, news of winning the Hudson Prize came at a time of great difficulty. A time when I was so thoroughly cornered, I became convinced that I was a loser pretending at verse. So, when I got the news, I was sure the editors had made a mistake.
But they hadn’t. Then I saw the names of all the finalists and semi-finalists, and it scared the hell out of me. I knew some of the poets, and I had read and enjoyed their work a good deal. Any of us could have taken the prize that year.
It’s still a mystery to me why my manuscript was chosen. But, I am grateful that my work has found home with a press and a group of editors that understand my spirit and believe in my imagination. Even beyond the prize, they are still with me. Listening and urging me toward my best work.
In a way, I guess the Hudson Prize tells me that even though I fail at poetry 99% of the time (as I do in other aspects of my life), it’s okay to take up the pen and try a hundredth time.”
Working with Abayo was an immense pleasure for us! A reminder that the 2013 Hudson Prize deadline is March 31: submit here.