hen the Anthology
won the National Book Award, it was no big deal for us really.
The Whitney did give us a certain satisfaction, admittedly.
Of course, the Lannan was great, not that we needed the money, but it
When the MacArthur people finally came through,
and declared our writing group one collective genius,
we were dimly aware that we had made it, but we were preoccupied at that
time with the production of The Unknown: Movie.
And Dirk made a good poet laureate, I have to
And, needless to say, we would never turn down another Pulitzer.
We barely had time to squeeze in the ceremony for the Nobel Prize, but
the banquet was really quite good.
We got drunk with the Aer Lingus people. We tried to explain to them that
we werent Irish, but they took it with a laugh, saying that we clearly
were the heirs of Joyce. I wasnt sure I
agreed, but I drowned my skepticism in Guinness.
They gave us some recognition in France:
it was the Prix-de-something or the Couer-de-something. Rod Coover gave
us some obscure Beaujolais Nouveau.
We felt bad about that Academy of American Poets prize that was supposed
to be for an unpublished writer. We got around the requirements by publishing
exclusively in pixels of light. Which was not,
at the time, considered publishing.
I may have been the only one of us who felt that I was unpublished. Given
what I consider publishing to be. A conception, I confess, intrinsically
tied to pulp and ink. I confess.
The Linux people gave us a cool award for
our open-source novel: we got a giant stuffed penguin. Linus Torvald
presented it, and then took us out drinking. He insisted on only drinking
in establishments where he knew how to program free beer, but, despite
all the walking, we enjoyed it.
Bill Gates bought us a round of icewater and tried to convince us that
he was just like us. That was nice.
Theres nothing like the Guggenheim.
And the Booker Prize was a true surprise, we didnt
see that one coming.
Frankly, I could give or take the Oscar (Best
Supporting Author), but it does make a classy paperweight.
But we werent sure what to make of the Newberry and the Caldecott.
We thought maybe that was some kind of joke.