Poet Dennis Nurkse has been called the “poet laureate” of Brooklyn. His straightforward elegiac style reflects his commitment as an activist for human rights, with a focus on children. His collections include Voices Over Water, Leaving Xaia, and The Rules of Paradise published by Four Way books. Leaving Xaia was reviewed in The Kenyon Review, The Hudson Review, The Bloomsbury Review, The American Book Review, The Cortland Review, and elsewhere. Another collection, The Fall, will soon be published by Knopf.
Nurkse has taught dozens of workshops at Rikers Island, and his poems about prison life appeared in the November/December 2001 The American Poetry Review. Other poems will soon appear in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, TriQuarterly, The Kenyon Review, and other magazines.
He has also taught inner-city workshops, taught at The New School University, given a class in the “Poets on Poets” series at Columbia University, and translated anonymous medieval and flamenco Spanish lyric poems.
“This is an exciting time to be working with poetry in inner-city situations; enthusiasm and a sense of the life-and-death importance of poetry are high in audiences never touched by academia, and never credited for their deep artistic sophistication.”
This bio/description was originally published in 2000 and updated in 2013. For more current information, please refer to the award recipient's website (if provided).