Poetry: A Mind Like This By Susan Blackwell Ramsey
The winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry for 2011 is Susan Blackwell Ramsey for her manuscript, A Mind Like This. She will receive a $3,000 prize and publication by the University of Nebraska Press. She was born in Detroit, received her BA from Kalamazoo College and has managed to live in Kalamazoo most of her life. She taught high school, gardened for hire, and worked as a horticultural transparencies librarian, but has primarily been a bookseller. While she and her husband, Wayne, raised three children, she worked at Kalamazoo's oldest independent bookstore and began publishing poems, receiving an Irving S. Gilmore Emerging Artist Grant. When the bookshop closed she was admitted into the University of Notre Dame's Creative Writing MFA program, where she was given the department's Mitchell Award. Her work appeared in Wayne State University's New Poems from the Third Coast: Contemporary Michigan Poetry, in 2006 she won the Marjorie J. Wilson Award from Margie: The Journal of American Poetry, and David Wagoner chose her "Pickled Heads, St. Petersburg" for the 2009 edition of Best American Poetry. She currently teaches spinning, knitting, and creative writing at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.