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Poet Bruce Taylor Selected for Major Achievement Award

RELEASED: April 13, 2006

Bruce Taylor
Bruce Taylor

EAU CLAIRE — Poet Bruce Taylor, professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, is the recipient of the Major Achievement Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers.

The $1,000 award for lifetime work recognizes Taylor, author of "Pity the World: Poems Selected and New," for his contributions to the world of poetry, his dedication to nurturing students' talent in UW-Eau Claire's creative writing program, and as the holder of numerous state and national awards and fellowships.

Taylor says there is a traditional salute one writer gives another that goes, "To the second most deserving person I know."

"It is in this spirit that I am honored to receive this award," Taylor said. "Coming as it does on the heels of 'Pity the World,' my collection of new and selected poems, it is especially welcome."

Martin Wood, chair of the UW-Eau Claire department of English, praised Taylor for his work in establishing and sustaining the NOTA student poetry readings, now 30 years in the running, his publishing of seven poetry anthologies including students' work, and his discovery of new poets whose careers might not have happened without him.

"All help portray a lifetime achievement that few other poets can boast," Wood said. "His legacy is alive as much in the work of his former students as in the wonderful poetry he has written himself."

"Pity the World," published last year by Plain View Press, represents 30 years of Taylor's work. The poems have appeared in more than100 different magazines and anthologies, and some also have appeared in Taylor's previous collections of poems.

Local writer Mike Perry, of "Population 485" fame and a former student of Taylor's, says Taylor's poetic characters bluster loudly and weep softly. "His jazz hounds, pub crawlers and garden-tenders know all men are fools, but they refuse to sing the cynic's tinny tune," Perry said. "These poems are wisdom purchased with the wages of sin."

Taylor's special areas of academic preparation and expertise are creative writing, American literature and The First Year Experience. He has served as a member of the Literature Panel of the Wisconsin Arts Board and host of The Writer's Workshop: Wisconsin ETN, and as program scholar and consultant for the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the Lila Wallace Foundation, the L.E. Phillips Library, the Annenberg/CPB Project and Drexel University's First Year Experience Program.

Taylor has won awards and Fellowships from the Wisconsin Arts Board, Fulbright-Hayes, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Bush Arts Foundation. He was the recipient of the 2004 Excellence in Scholarship Award from UW-Eau Claire.

Taylor will receive the award May 6 at a luncheon at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee.

-30-

JW/JB

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