Posted: April 22, 2013
LCCC PROFESSOR IS PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST IN POETRY CATEGORY
Lorain County Community College Poetry Professor Bruce Weigl has picked up his second Pulitzer Prize nomination in the Poetry Category for his new book “The Abundance of Nothing.”
Weigl, who has been a poetry professor at LCCC since 1998, was also nominated in 1988 for his book “Song of Napalm.”
He was one of three finalists out of several hundred submissions in the 2013 Pulitzer Prize poetry category and didn’t know he had been chosen as a finalist until just three days before the announcement.
“They don’t announce the finalists until they announce the winner, so I didn’t know I was a finalist until I was contacted,” Weigl said.
His new book, “The Abundance of Nothing” is about the melding of his life as an 18-year-old soldier in Vietnam and now as a 63-year-old man in Oberlin and what he has learned in his journey along the way.
“I’m proud to have been a finalist for this award. What I do is influenced by where I work and who I work with, so I think this is a great reflection on all of my colleagues at Lorain County Community College. It’s also an indication of the high quality of instruction students get at LCCC and community colleges in general,” Weigl said.
Weigl is a 1967 graduate of Lorain Admiral King High School and his affinity for LCCC began when he enrolled as a student following a year in the Army in Vietnam from December 1967 to December 1968. His decision to return to LCCC three decades later as a faculty member was due in large part to the start that LCCC provided to him.
“I owe a lot of my success to this institution. This is where I came after the Army. I was enabled and encouraged and supported by my professors and that made all the difference in the world for me,” Weigl said. “When I saw the opportunity to come back here I thought it was a great way to complete that circle and give something back to a place that gave me so much.”
Weigl previously taught at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, Old Dominion University and Penn State University. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a master’s in creative writing from the University of New Hampshire and a doctorate in literature from the University of Utah.
“I grew up among working class people, started my education at LCCC and now these many years later I’m back as a professor. I think I am a great example of how someone can come from modest beginnings and achieve something no matter what life throws at them. This is the message I try to bring to my students every day,” Weigl said.
In 2006 he won the Lannan Literary Foundation Award for Poetry. He has also won the Pushcart Prize twice, an award from the Academy of American Poets, a Breadloaf and Yaddo Foundation Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant in poetry, The Cleveland Arts Prize and an award for “contributions to American Culture from the Vietnam Veterans of America.” In 2003 he chaired the judging panel for the National Book Award in Poetry.