Video: 2011 Announcement
The venue was Poets House, a literary center and poetry library located on the banks of the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan. After welcoming remarks from Kathryn Moncrief, the English professor who chairs the Sophie Kerr Committee, and keynote remarks from novelist Colum McCann, winner of the 2009 National Book Award, the five Prize finalists read brief selections from their portfolios. Then McCann opened the sealed envelope that held the winner’s name and made the announcement: “Lisa Jones.”
Afterward, family and friends joined New York area alums for a reception upstairs among the poetry stacks. The next day before leaving the city, the finalists made a stop at the residence where benefactor Sophie Kerr lived for 40 years while working as a successful author and magazine editor.