PREVIOUS AWARDEES



State Author
Mary Gordon,
2008-2010

Russell Banks,
2004-2008

Kurt Vonnegut,
2001-2003

James Salter,
1998-2000

Peter Matthiessen, 1995-1997

William Gaddis,
1993-1995

Norman Mailer,
1991-1993

E. L. Doctorow,
1989-1991

Grace Paley,
1986-1988


State Poets
Jean Valentine, 2008-2010

Billy Collins,
2004-2006

John Ashbery,
2001-2003

Sharon Olds,
1998-2000

Jane Cooper,
1995-1997

Richard Howard, 1993-1995

Audre Lorde,
1991-1993

Robert Creely,
1989-1991

Stanely Kunitz,
1986-1988



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THE CENTER FOR THE LITERARY ARTS IN NEW YORK STATE

New York State Author and New York State Poet Awards

Award Winners 2012-2014

Alison Lurie, photo by Cornell Univeristy Media CollectionThe New York State
Edith Wharton Citation of Merit
State Author Award
Alison Lurie

Marie HoweThe New York State
Walt Whitman Citation of Merit
State Poet Award
Marie Howe

Honoring Fiction and Poetry Writers within New Yort State
By special mandate in 1985 the Writers Institute was designated by the New York State Legislature to award both the Edith Wharton Citation of Merit for fiction writers (State Author) and the Walt Whitman Citation of Merit for poets (State Poet) every two years. Upon the recommendation of two advisory panels of distinguished authors convened under the aegis of the Institute, the Governor awards each Citation to "an author whose achievements make him or her deserving of such recognition." Each Citation carries an honorarium of ten thousand dollars, and the State Author/State Poet "shall promote and encourage fiction/poetry within the State and shall give two public readings within the State each year."

Alison Lurie

The State Author Award
The State Author award is named for Edith Wharton (1862-1937), who is recognized as one of the great novelists in the history of American literature. Born in New York City into wealth and social status, she nevertheless exposed, in her darkly elegant fiction and novels, the hypocrisies and pressures of New York City society of the time, particularly examining the role and condition of women. Her prose is, in the phrase she herself used to describe successful short fiction, "a shaft driven straight into the heart of experience."

Marie Howe

The State Poet Award
The State Poet award is named for Walt Whitman (1819-1892), the renowned poet born in Huntington, Long Island, whose collection Leaves of Grass heralded a new age of formal innovation in poetry with its absence of rhyme and meter and its abundance of oratorical rhythms and extended litanies. As the self-styled "poet of democracy" and the shaggy, poetic spokesman of young America, Whitman became the leading poet of liberal political movements in 19th century Europe. Whitman continues to exert a powerful influence on succeeding generations of poets both here and abroad.

Edith Wharton Citation of Merit for Fiction Writing - Alison Lurie

Walt Whitman Citation of Merit for Poets - Marie Howe

State Author/State Poet Award Ceremony Photo Gallery for 2008-2010


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CONTACT INFORMATION:
Science Library, SL 320, University at Albany, NY 12222 | Phone 518-442-5620, Fax 518-442-5621, email writers@albany.edu