Abayomi Animashaun: On Winning the Hudson Prize
Poet Abayomi Animashaun talks about his experience winning the 2008 Hudson Prize for his sublime collection The Giving of Pears
“For me, news of winning the Hudson Prize came at a time of great difficulty. A time when I was so thoroughly cornered, I became convinced that I was a loser pretending at verse. So, when I got the news, I was sure the editors had made a mistake.
But they hadn’t. Then I saw the names of all the finalists and semi-finalists, and it scared the hell out of me. I knew some of the poets, and I had read and enjoyed their work a good deal. Any of us could have taken the prize that year.
It’s still a mystery to me why my manuscript was chosen. But, I am grateful that my work has found home with a press and a group of editors that understand my spirit and believe in my imagination. Even beyond the prize, they are still with me. Listening and urging me toward my best work.
In a way, I guess the Hudson Prize tells me that even though I fail at poetry 99% of the time (as I do in other aspects of my life), it’s okay to take up the pen and try a hundredth time.”
Working with Abayo was an immense pleasure for us! A reminder that the 2013 Hudson Prize deadline is March 31: submit here.