With this Dean’s Scholar Award, the College recognizes Professor Powell as one of the most important, innovative and influential contemporary poets, widely renowned for what critics call his “AIDS trilogy
(2002), and Cocktails
(2004), followed by his fourth book, Chronic
(2009), a collection of interrelated poems addressing how one endures love’s arc in the midst of chronic illness. Other threats to the wider world, including war and climate change, engage the reader in a dialogue about what it means to live and love at this fraught juncture in history.
Chronic was a Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle and the Publishing Triangle Awards. It also received the Northern California Book Award, the Northern California Book Sellers’ Award, and the California Book Award, and it was named a notable Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Kansas City Star and Publisher’s Weekly. Professor Powell has received wide critical acclaim for his work and many honors, including the Kingsley Tufts Prize from Claremont College and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation.
Professor Powell holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, University of Iowa. He joined USF as a Visiting Writer in Spring 2000 and then as Assistant Professor in 2004.