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USF poet longlisted for National Book Award in Poetry

TAMPA, Fla. – Professor Jay Hopler, Professor of English, has been longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award in Poetry. His nominated book, The Abridged History of Rainfall, is forthcoming from McSweeney’s (November 15, 2016).

The Abridged History of Rainfall , a mourning song for Hopler’s father, is an elegy of uproar, a careening hymn to disaster and its aftermath. In lyric poems, by turns droll and desolate, Hopler documents the struggle to live in the face of great loss, a task that sends him ranging through Florida's torrid subtropics, the mountains of the American West, the streets of Rome and the Umbrian countryside. Vivid, dynamic, unrestrained: The Abridged History of Rainfall is a festival of glowing saints and fighting cocks, of firebombs and birdsong.

“Being longlisted for the National Book Award in Poetry is an amazing honor,” says Hopler. “Not to mention a surprise. I’m still sort of in shock about the whole thing.”

Other longlisted poets include Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove and National Book Critics Circle Award-winning poet and National Medal of Arts recipient Donald Hall. The finalists will be announced on October 13, 2016. The winner will be announced at National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner in New York City on November 16, 2016.

Hopler teaches MFA and undergraduate courses in poetry at the University of South Florida. His previous book of poems, Green Squall (Yale University Press, 2006), won the 2005 Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, among other honors. His most recent book, Before the Door of God: An Anthology of Devotional Poetry (edited with Kimberly Johnson), was published by Yale University Press in October 2013. To learn more about Hopler’s work, visit his website:

For more information on USF's creative writing program in the Department of English, contact Program Director Rita Ciresi at

The University of South Florida’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is a graduate-level program offering concentrations in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. The program emphasizes the craft of writing and concentrates on students’ original work. For more information, see .


Filed under:Arts and Sciences English