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Professor Stephen Dunn Wins Pulitzer Prize, “I didn’t think I had a chance.”By Brandi Fornicola
Just yesterday poet Stephen Dunn sat casually awaiting questions from the students of a journalism class at Brookdale Community College. He entered the room, took off the layers of winter, and got settled. Dunn, a 2001 Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry was also scheduled to recite his poems later on, these students had the benefit of meeting him in a more personal setting. After a long silence many inquiries were addressed towards Dunn. When asked if he will feel more pressured with his work since winning the Pulitzer he answered, “ No. Not at all, I will however be more scrutinized because of it.”
Dunn addressed each question directed towards him. As he chewed on the tip of his eyeglasses, he informed the students that he liked the attention that his work was getting more than the attention that he was receiving because of the award. “I think it is one of the dilemmas of being an American poet, that perhaps even if you are famous, you are more famous for being famous than if people know your poetry,” Dunn mentioned in a past interview.
After the conference Dunn attended dinner at a nearby restaurant. At 7:30 p.m. he then attended a forum open to the public to commence on the reading of his poetry. The Pulitzer Prize winning collection of poetry, ‘Different Hours’ received the most attention from Dunn. Nine poems from that collection were recited, and over ten poems from additional collections.
The Pulitzer Prizes, which are awarded annually by Columbia University in N.Y.C., are not easily obtained. With 2,000 entries submitted each year and only twenty-one awards normally given in a number of fields Dunn knew of the odds against him. When previously asked what he thought his chances were in winning the Pulitzer he stated, “I didn’t think I had a chance.”
There was a stir throughout the audience as the p...
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