2023 Etel Adnan Poetry Prize Has Been Awarded to A.D. Lauren-Abunassar

2023 Etel Adnan Poetry Prize Has Been Awarded to A.D. Lauren-Abunassar
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The University of Arkansas Press is pleased to announce the 2023 Etel Adnan Poetry Prize has been awarded to A.D. Lauren-Abunassar for her manuscript Coriolis. The poet will receive a $1,000 cash prize, and her manuscript will be published as the seventh title in the Etel Adnan Poetry Series, which proudly supports the work of writers of Arab heritage.

"To say I'm immensely grateful to be a part of this prize doesn't even begin to cover it," Lauren-Abunassar said. "Etel Adnan was something of a catalyst for me—she wasn't just one of the first writers I loved. She was also one of the first writers that made me want to write. Hearing I'd received this prize was a bit surreal to say the least, even more so given how much I respect all the other texts and voices that are part of this series."

Series editors Hayan Charara and Fady Joudah, who selected Lauren-Abunassar's Coriolis for the 2023 prize, called the collection "a hybrid world, enchanting, thoughtful and teeming with possibility. Her poetry," they said, "insists on conversations with art, the kind found in galleries and museums (from Andy Warhol to Frances Denny to William Basinski's disintegration loops), in the natural world (whales, deer and blackberries) and in the world of cryptids, where the real and imaginary live side by side."

The Coriolis effect — from which Lauren-Abunassar's collection borrows its title — describes a force that deflects a moving mass off its course. This logic is also at play in these poems, which explore the force of dream, prayer, stories, acts of belief — and, to that end, disbelief. Lauren-Abunassar questions how these acts might counter the more destabilizing pressures of illness, loss, displacement and trauma and explores what these forces then do to a body. Taking up a number of hybrid forms, she anchors to the idea of cryptids, femininity, erasure, polyvocality, disintegration, sound and screech, examining the body's way of shifting in the face of loss and trauma.

A.D. Lauren-Abunassar is an Arab American poet and writer who currently resides in New York. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, Narrative, Rattle, Boulevard and elsewhere. She was a 2020 Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg finalist as well as the winner of the 2020 Palette Emerging Poetry Contest and 2019 Boulevard Emerging Poet Contest. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

The University of Arkansas Press accepts year-round submissions for the Etel Adnan Poetry Series and annually awards publication and the $1,000 Etel Adnan Poetry Prize to a first or second book of poetry, in English, by a writer of Arab heritage. Since its inception in 2015, the series has sought to celebrate and foster the writings and writers that make up the vibrant Arab American community, and the University of Arkansas Press has long been committed to publishing diverse kinds of poetry by a diversity of poets. The series editors are Hayan Charara and Fady Joudah, and the prize is named in honor of the world-renowned poet, novelist, essayist and artist Etel Adnan. Publication is supported in part by the Center for Middle East Studies at the U of A.


Charlie Shields, marketing director
University of Arkansas Press
479-575-7258, cmoss@uark.edu


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