Henry Hart, the Mildred and J.B. Hickman Professor of English and Humanities, was honored for a lifetime of poetic achievement and support last fall, when he was awarded the Carole Weinstein Prize in Poetry during the Virginia Book Awards ceremony at the Library of Virginia in Richmond.
The prize, first given in 2005 and awarded annually to a poet with strong ties to Central Virginia, recognizes recent contributions to the art of poetry and is awarded on the basis of a range of achievement in the field. Past recipients have included Pulitzer Prize winners Charles Wright and Claudia Emerson.
“I was very honored to be one of the recipients of the Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize,” Hart said. “I know the poetry of Charles Wright, and in fact I’ve written numerous essays about Charles and his poetry. I also know the poetry of Claudia Emerson and of the other winners and admire it greatly. So to be included in the company of these fine poets is very flattering.”
Hart has published several critical books on modern poets, including The Poetry of Geoffrey Hill in 1986, Seamus Heaney: Poet of Contrary Progressions in 1991, Robert Lowell and the Sublime in 1995, and The James Dickey Reader in 1999. His 2000 biography, James Dickey: The World as a Lie, was runner-up for a Southern Book Critics’ Circle Award. He has also published three books of poetry: The Ghost Ship in 1990, The Rooster Mask in 1998 and Background Radiation in 2007.