The National Book Foundation announced last week that Fast Animal, by Tim Seibles, is a 2012 National Book Award Finalist in Poetry. The NBA award citation noted: “The newest collection from one of America’s foremost African-American poets threads the journey from youthful innocence to the whittled-hard awareness of adulthood. Along the way it immerses the reader in palpable moments―the importance of remembering, the burden of race, and the meaning of true wakefulness. ”
Etruscan Press, publisher of Fast Animal, describes the book as “explor[ing] a range of poetic form, including lyric, ode, narrative, and mystical. Like a ‘fast animal,’ the poet’s voice can swiftly change direction and tone as he crisscrosses between present and past.” This is Etruscan’s third NBA Finalist, following William Heyen’s Shoah Train in 2004 and H. L. Hix’s Chromatic in 2006.
A native of Philadelphia, Tim Seibles lives in Norfolk, Virginia, where he is a member of the English Department and MFA in writing faculty of Old Dominion University. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and Open Voice Award, Seibles also teaches at the Cave Canem Foundation whose staff includes Toi Derricotte, Cornelius Eady, and Thomas Sayers Ellis. Their elders include Sonia Sanchez and the late Lucille Clifton. You can watch a video of Tim Seibles reading a poem from Fast Animal, “Ode to Sleep,” here.
Praise for Fast Animal:
“Crisply comic, disarmingly frank, and aurally bold …” —Publishers Weekly
“Built like one single sustained song, Fast Animal is alive with music, ardor, and wit that flow in utterances that are uniquely [Seibles’] and his alone.”—Laure-Anne Bosselaar, author of The Hour Between
The winners will be announced November 14, 2012.