Karl Elder, Wisconsin poet and Lakeland College Fessler Professor and my friend and compatriot in the adventure of poetry, has recently been awarded a publication contract for his manuscript, Gilgamesh at the Bellagio, as a runner up in The National Poetry Review Prize Book Series. The volume - not to be confused with his recently published long poem by the same name in Black Warrior Review - is scheduled to appear in 2007 or early 2008.
Conceived as a trilogy, the first section of the manuscript, Mead (nominated for a Pulitzer Prize), is followed by Gilgamesh at the Bellagio and Z Ain’t Just for Zabecedarium (portions of which received the Chad Walsh Award from Beloit Poetry Journal).
"This is a dream,” Elder says of the award, “one that I rarely dared to share for fear that I’d jinx the book, the joy of the years I’ve had working on it, which came to an abrupt halt during my sabbatical last spring when I’d completed the effort. For the last couple of days I’ve been pinching myself to be certain I’m awake.”