Daniel Simon Wins 2018 Nebraska Book Award

October 22, 2018
by WLT

The cover to Nebraska Poetry juxtaposed with a photo of editor Daniel Simon

On Oct. 10, the Nebraska Library Commission announced Daniel Simon as the winner of a 2018 Nebraska Book Award. Simon’s book Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology, 1867–2017 (2017), which he edited and introduced, won in the poetry anthology category. Simon is the longtime editor in chief of World Literature Today, the University of Oklahoma’s award-winning magazine of international literature and culture.

The first anthology of its scope, Nebraska Poetry features 83 poets—including Willa Cather, Tillie Olsen, Weldon Kees and Ted Kooser—and more than 180 poems. Edward Hirsch, president of the Guggenheim Foundation, wrote about the anthology: “There is something deep and sturdy about these homemade poems of the Great Plains. Simon has put together a wonderfully diverse and compelling anthology of Nebraska poets, who bring us news from the interior, straightforward lyrics with hidden depths, voices we need to hear, a hard-won clarity and wisdom.”

The award will be presented during a ceremony at the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Celebration of Nebraska Books on Dec. 1 at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln. The center’s mission is to “bring together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators and scholars to build the community of the book.” Supported by the national Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Nebraska Library Commission, the Nebraska Center for the Book sponsors programs that celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading and the written word.

The Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission endorsed the book as a Legacy Project of the Nebraska 150 Celebrations, which began March 1, 2017. The anthology, published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press, also was named a finalist for the 2018 One Book One Nebraska program.

Simon has served as World Literature Todays editor in chief since 2008, the third-longest tenure in the magazine’s history, which was founded in 1927. He also is the unit’s assistant director and teaches for OU’s Department of English. A poet and translator, Simon is the author of two verse collections, Cast Off (2015) and After Reading Everything (2016). His work has been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes and multiple book awards; reprinted in the anthologies World English Poetry (2015) and Oklahoma Poems . . . and Their Poets (2014); and translated into French, German, Greek, Spanish and Turkish. Born and raised in North Bend and Louisville, Nebraska, Simon currently lives in Norman, Oklahoma, with his wife and three daughters.