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Arts & Entertainment, General Information, Honors & Awards, Media Advisory

LSU Press Title, “Black Aperture,” Named a Finalist for Prestigious National Book Award

10/18/2013 01:03 PM

BATON ROUGE – Published by LSU Press in February 2013, Matt Rasmussen’s debut poetry collection, “Black Aperture,” is a finalist for the prestigious National Book Award.  

In this cathartic and insightful work, Rasmussen faces the tragedy of his brother’s suicide, refusing to focus on the expected pathos and instead blurring the edge between grief and humor. Winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, “Black Aperture” opens to the complicated entanglements of mourning: damage and healing, sorrow and laughter, and torment balanced with moments of relief.

This nomination from the National Book Foundation the second time in six years that a LSU Press poetry title received the honor. In 2007, David Kirby’s “The House on Boulevard Street” was also a finalist in the poetry category. LSU Press is the only scholarly publisher to make the short list for the 2013 award.

The winner in each category will be announced at the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on Nov. 20. Winners will each receive a prize of $10,000. Finalists will each receive a prize of $1,000.

Rasmussen’s poetry has appeared in Gulf Coast, H_NGM_N, and at A founding coeditor of Birds LLC, a small, independent poetry press, he is a 2012–2013 McKnight Artist Fellow and teaches at Gustavus Adolphus College.

For more information, contact Erin Rolfs at 225-578-8282 or or visit For more on “Black Aperture,” including a high resolution download of the cover image, visit

LSU Media Relations