Created in 2015, the Prize recognizes new works that reflect the Library's mission to convene renowned writers, scholars, critics, and artists with members of the borough's diverse community to discuss urgent social, political, and artistic issues that resonate with Brooklynites and the world at-large.
Rothstein and Pico accepted their awards at the Brooklyn Classic, the signature fundraising event of the Brooklyn Eagles. This year's co-chairs for the Brooklyn Eagles' nonfiction and fiction and poetry prize committees are Charles Duhigg, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better, and Ashley Mihlebach, National Account Manager at HarperCollins.
Pico was awarded the Fiction & Poetry prize by a jury that featured Téa Obreht (novelist, National Book Award finalist), Anderson Tepper (Vanity Fair editor and Brooklyn Book Festival international committee co-chair), Imbolo Mbue (novelist, winner of the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction), Jack Halberstam (eminent queer theorist and Columbia University professor), and Nick Higgins (BPL Director of Outreach Services).
(Birds, LLC, 2016)
By Tommy Pico
"On the narrowing frontier between song & speech, memory & oblivion, future & no future, Native & American, IRL is Heraclitan, a river of text and sweat, whipping worlds into the silence of white pages: a new masterpiece. And a new kind of masterpiece. It's a lyric epic of desire whose hero renounces heroism. & it's not he who voyages out in search of a world, but rather the devastated worlds in his own blood that seek him out, to mourn them. I said epic of desire and I meant it: desire of every kind, for the infinite & the proximate, the fucking trite & the tried-and-trueit's also a gorgeous monument, an act of memory for the future of all longing, for the fact of roots and the need for them, decolonizing poesis from the root without for one second the condescension of even the notion of safety. For the poem is also deeply canny, and weary; it knows 'There is no post-colonial / America' and yetthe poem keeps pushing out from under history, out beyond the poem's own billion negations, into a space both beyond identity and deep with it."Ariana Reines
Congratulations to Tommy Pico, as well as Birds, LLC!
More about the 2017 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize here.