Now, That's a Good Morning

UnCommon Ground - Now, That's a Good Morning

David Baker recently returned from Saginaw, Mich., where he collected the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize for his most recent volume, Never-Ending Birds. The award recognizes a book that has made “an important contribution to American poetry.” Former recipients include Howard Nemerov, Robert Penn Warren, Richard Hugo, Carolyn Kizer, Kimiko Hahn, and Robert Pinsky. For Baker, the highlight of the celebrations occurred one morning as he was eating breakfast and the phone rang. Baker answered it to hear a voice say, “David Baker, this is Bea.” Baker thought “Oh my God, it’s Bea, Beatrice Roethke.” Theodore Roethke’s widow had called the poet from her London home to congratulate him on winning the award named for her husband. As Baker says, “It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Published December 2011