2009 NATIONAL POETRY SERIES WINNER, TO READ FROM HER NEW POETRY VOLUME
In advance praise, poet Mark Nowak said, “Like an archeologist of the American idiom, ‘The Network’ brilliantly excavates the material remains and missing histories of our collective semantic strata. From the annual Philadelphia Mummers Parade and the Wall Street Financial District to the tragic 1845 Arctic expedition of Sir John Franklin, Osman’s poetic assemblages teach us ‘how to map a changing thing’ with grace, acumen, and a relentless documentary drive.” In selecting the book for the National Poetry Series, poet Prageeta Sharma said, “Osman tackles the relationship between representation and intention within any subject...especially when she explores contemporary political rhetoric,” and added that the book is “refreshing...full of inquiry that is sustainable and innovative.”
Osman’s previous books include “An Essay in Asterisks” (2004) and “The Character” (1999), winner of the Barnard New Women Poets Prize. Poet Ron Silliman said of “An Essay in Asterisks,” “Unimaginable is a word I think of a lot when reading Jena Osman’s poetry. [It makes] the unimaginable obvious, forcing us to rethink the entire project of the poem—and our lives—from the ground up.”
Osman’s work was featured in “The Best American Poetry of 2002” (selected by poet Robert Creeley). In 2006, she received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. Her poems have been translated into French, Swedish, and Serbo-Croatian.
With Juliana Spahr (with whom she edited the influential literary magazine “Chain” for twelve years), she edits the ChainLinks Book Series. Beat poet Anne Waldman called “Chain,” “One of the best ‘outrider’ magazines, a true cultural intervention,” and Robert Creeley said, “From the word go, ‘Chain’ has been a delight. It makes a brilliant linkage of the myriad persons and patterns that inform both the crisis in feminist thinking and also its inexhaustible resources.” The journal is currently on hiatus in order to permit Osman and Spahr to devote more time to the book series.
A Ph. D. graduate in English and Poetics from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Osman teaches currently in the graduate Creative Writing Program at Temple University.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.