Mary Szybist's Incarnadine wins the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry


November 20, 2013—Mary Szybist has won the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry for her collection Incarnadine. The winners of the National Book Award were announced at the National Book Awards Ceremony and Gala at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.


“We are all extremely proud and gratified to publish Mary Szybist at Graywolf Press,” said Jeffrey Shotts, executive editor at Graywolf. “We’ve known for a long time that her terrific book Incarnadine was something truly special, and it’s beyond marvelous to have that now affirmed with the National Book Award for Poetry. Huge congratulations to Mary, whose work gets richer and more original with every poem.”


Szybist’s win marks the first time a Graywolf author has won the National Book Award in any category. Szybist was the second Graywolf poet to be named a finalist for the award, joining Carl Phillips, who was a finalist for From the Devotions in 1998. Salvatore Scibona was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction for his novel The End in 2008; Deborah Baker was a finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction for The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism in 2011.


In an interview with the National Book Foundation this week Szybist stated, “The scene to which Incarnadine continually returns—the Annunciation—has long been a site of ‘fine invention.’ [. . .] By offering a multitude of Annunciation possibilities, I wish to unsettle and, to some extent, take leave of the old story, even as I try to find new uses for it.” A sampling of five poems from Incarnadine is available now on the Graywolf Press website.


Mary Szybist is the author of a previous collection of poems, Granted, which was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Szybist is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress. She lives in Portland, Oregon, and teaches at Lewis & Clark College and the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.


The National Book Foundation’s mission is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America. The National Book Award is one of the nation’s most prestigious literary prizes and has a stellar record of identifying and rewarding quality writing. Visit the National Book Foundation online at