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September 25, 2006

Contact Bill Stobb at 608-784-5737

National Poetry Series to Publish Nervous Systems by Bill Stobb (Book cover and headshot)

Viterbo professor Bill Stobb, English, can remember buying National Poetry Series books to read many years ago.

Now, some other young lover of poetry will be buying his book.

Stobb was recently named a winner in the National Poetry Series and will now have his book of poetry, Nervous Systems, published by Penguin Books, a national publishing company. The National Poetry Series is a literary awards program that sponsors the publication of five books nationally.

“It’s exciting,” Stobb said simply.

The road to national contest winner wasn’t exactly smooth. Stobb began writing serious poetry when he took an introduction to literature class at age 20. He estimates he has sent out 25 manuscripts a year for the past five years to various places. He had been a finalist in the National Poetry Series a number of times.

“The editors’ affirmations is probably what made me keep submitting to the contest,” he said.

An estimated 1,400 manuscripts were submitted to this year’s contest. Fifty finalists were named, and then the five winners. Stobb received a $1,000 prize and will earn royalties on each book sold after the first 1,000.

“I have no idea if I’ll ever see a royalty check,” he said. “But it’s cool.”

Stobb describes his work as meditative while exploring a variety of themes, including the environment, moments of consciousness with the world (experience and sensory), politics, and relationships and family.

Forty of his poems are in the book, including one of the first he ever wrote. The book will be published in June, and will be available at the usual book outlets.

Meanwhile, his colleagues and students have been very generous with the congratulations.

            “It’s flattering to be honored like that,” he said.


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