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FSU Professor Barbara Hurd Wins Bright Hill Press Poetry Award

Dr. Barbara Hurd, professor of English at Frostburg State University, has won the Bright Hill Press Poetry Award, which will includes publication of her book-length collection of poems, "The Singer's Temple," in addition to the associated national recognition and cash award.

Bright Hill Press is a not-for-profit literary organization and press dedicated to literary excellence.

The final judge was the poet Richard Frost, whose work has appeared in "Paris Review," "Poetry Journal" and "Harper's," among others, and who has published collections of poetry himself. He wrote the following about his choice of Hurd's work:

"Early in this book Barbara Hurd confronts the reader with the scary and fascinating proposition, a medical conjecture, that many of us are actually twins in our single bodies and oblivious of it. In her compelling, well-crafted poems Hurd carries us through varied perspectives on this theme of self-accompaniment. We encounter sea urchins, Dr. Jeckyl, a grackle falling down a stovepipe, Monet, the cinema, Elvis, Eros, a vacuum-cleaner salesman, Doubting Thomas, Peter Pan, an egret, and Gyoto monks. We ride double on a motorcycle in India. We are taken into a surreal dream of an anthropomorphic cave that has aggressive sexual intentions. Hurd takes us where never have been, which is the job of a poet, and she does it well. Her voice is genuine and convincing, her versification is sure, and, above all, her poems are interesting. Once I began, I read the book through; I was drawn from poem to poem. Altogether, this is a splendid collection. Read it—you will be more than doubly pleased."

Hurd has received a number of accolades over the past year. Her collection of essays, "Stirring the Mud: On Swamps, Bogs and Human Imagination," was chosen as a best book of 2001 by the Los Angeles Times. Her essays and poems have appeared in numerous journals and collections, including "Best American Essays 1999," and "Best American Essays 2001." The recipient of the 2002 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction, as well as numerous other awards for her writing, she is the Wilson H. Elkins Professor at FSU.

Hurd has already published a collection of poems, titled "Objects in this Mirror," and a second book of essays, this one on caves, titled "Entering the Stone," is forthcoming.

"Stirring the Mud" is also the inspiration for "Stirrings, a multi-disciplinary work connecting the arts, the environment and human life," which will bring together the diverse worlds of dance, music, theatre, creative writing and science. It will have its premiere at FSU in April.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589