The Jackson Poetry Prize, established in 2006, honors an American poet who has published at least one major book of poetry and whose work deserves wider recognition. The $50,000 award comes from Poets & Writers, a nonprofit organization serving creative writers. Their mission: "to provide what all poets need—time and the encouragement to write" (Poets & Writers).
The award was announced Wednesday and included a lovely description of Cole's work:
Henri Cole has the voluptuary’s fastidious preoccupation with sensation—rather, say, an almost Japanese vocation for connoisseurship. But what is most striking in this work is its composure. Cole’s poems do not strain for attention; for all their casual, anecdotal worldliness and natural diction, they project an eerie gravity. The poems’ shimmering, enigmatic tranquility coexists with intense feeling: they are clear without being stodgy, striking in their poise and delicacy and formal beauty without seeming, ever, mere exquisite diversions. He is an artist of the greatest gifts.
Cole is the author, most recently, of Touch (FSG, 2011), Pierce the Skin (FSG, 2010); Blackbird and Wolf (FSG, 2007); Middle Earth (FSG, 2003), a Pulitzer Prize finalist; and The Visible Man (FSG,1998).