David Livewell, from West Deptford, N.J., is the winner of the 2012 T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry sponsored by the Truman State University Press.
Livewell’s winning poetry collection, “Shackamaxon,” was selected from nearly 450 manuscripts in the 16th annual competition. Livewell receives $2,000 and publication of his book, which is scheduled for the fall of 2012.
Livewell works as a medical editor in Philadelphia and has taught poetry courses at La Salle University. His poems have been published in numerous journals, and he has been the recipient of the fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
This year’s judge, poet and educator Sandra McPherson said, “[Livewell] writes with a formal ‘at-homeness,’ with classic rhythm he warms with imagery of the environment he shares with local and national history. Wasps on a baseball diamond, ‘flame-cast shadows’ singeing walls: Livewell’s poems glisten with surprises of light.”
Four finalists were also named: Alan Soldofsky, Sarah M. Wells, Katherine E. Young and Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers.
The prize, established in 1996 in honor of Missouri native T. S. Eliot, is an annual award for the best, unpublished book-length collection of poetry.