The Poetry Foundation has announced that John Surowiecki is the inaugural recipient of the Verse Drama Prize of $10,000, honoring a living poet who has written a previously unpublished, outstanding original verse drama in English. In addition to the cash prize, the winning manuscript will be presented as a staged reading in New York and Chicago in 2008. The Verse Drama Prize brings renewed attention to an under-recognized area of poetry and encourages poets to work in a new genre, thereby bringing fresh life to the art.
Surowiecki is the author of two poetry collections, Watching Cartoons before Attending a Funeral (White Pine Press, 2003) and The Hat City after Men Stopped Wearing Hats (The Word Works, 2006 Washington Prize), and five chapbooks. My Nose and Me: (A TragedyLite or TragiDelight in 33 Scenes) is his first piece written for the stage.
In 2005, Surowiecki was awarded a poetry fellowship from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, Office of the Arts. He is a freelance writer and teaches poetry courses at Manchester Community College. His poems have recently appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Common Ground Review, Connecticut Review, Margie, Nimrod, and Poetry.