Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize: Eavan Boland and Austin Allen (2016)

The O.B. Hardison Poetry Series, co-sponsored by The Waywiser Press, presented Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize: Eavan Boland and Austin Allen on October 24, 2016 at 7:30pm in the Folger's Elizabethan Theatre. The poets were introduced by Phillip Hoy, editor-in-chief of The Waywiser Press.

The Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, created in honor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Anthony Hecht, is awarded annually by The Waywiser Press for a poetry collection by a poet who has published no more than one previous book of verse. It includes publication with a $3,000 prize.

Eavan Boland

Eavan Boland.

Eavan Boland's eloquent verse often references her native Ireland, painting its history with a haunting lyricism. She has published ten volumes of poetry, most recently New Collected Poems and A Woman Without Country, and prose including Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time. Her honors include the Lannan Award for Poetry and an American Ireland Fund Literary Award.

Boland has read for the O.B. Hardison Poetry series three times previously, on March 5, 2012, May 21, 2007, and January 26, 1999.

Austin Allen

Austin Allen.

Austin Allen's poetry has appeared in The Yale Review, 32 Poems, Southwest Review, The Missouri Review, Prelude, among others. Pleasures of the Game is his first book and winner of the 2016 Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize. He is currently a Lecturer in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.

Reviews and excerpts

The Charm

Onyx locket.

Carven and dark, it

gleams from Bronx to tip.

Is found

each night, and stolen.


the same-shaped hole in

each thief’s pocket,

gives each the slip.

Is washed clean underground

by that black market

out of which it came.


bearing your name.

From Pleasures of the Game by Austin Allen© 2016, published by The Waywiser Press. Used with permission.