L.B. Thompson, a native of Ada, received a 2010 Whiting Writers’ Award on Oct. 27 at a ceremony in New York City. This $50,000 award recognizes 10 young writers for their extraordinary talent and promise and is one of the most coveted prizes for up and coming writers.
These awards have been given annually since 1985 and past recipients include Michael Cunningham, Kim Edwards, Tobias Wolff, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Mary Karr – all winners before they were acclaimed, bestselling authors.
Thompson’s poetry chapbook “Tendered Notes: Poems of Love and Money” won the Center for Book Arts’ annual chapbook competition in 2003. Her poems have appeared in Fence, Pool, Lyric, The Women’s Review of Books and The New Yorker. She received her bachelor of arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College and her master of fine arts degree in Poetry from New York University. She was a recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award. Her essay about her long period of illness, “Torpor: Metaphors of Hibernation,” appeared in Prairie Schooner in 2009.
Thompson teaches English to college freshmen, works as a free-lance copyeditor and lives on the North Fork ofLong Island. She recently completed a poetry manuscript titled The Dark Skirt of the Universe, and is at work on a novel and a collection of essays.
As the Whiting selectors said, “This is poetry that could only be poetry — it has real wit as well as sensuousness. Ms. Thompson is a true visionary poet. So wild and strange and brilliant, this poetry is alive — filled with the sense of a part-human, part-Other intelligence, curious, questing. Also astonishing is the bright, clear gaze – like being in the presence of the oracle.”