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Each year, the Walt Whitman Award is given to an American poet who has yet to publish a book of poetry. Poet Jane Hirshfield was the judge for this year, and she chose Rasmussen’s manuscript “Black Aperture” as the winner. It will be published by Louisiana State University Press in the Spring of 2013.
With his other recent award, the McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers, Rasmussen will receive a stipend of $25,000 in order to give him the chance to study, reflect, experiment, explore, and hopefully delve into new opportunities and projects. Daniel Tobin, the School of Arts interim Dean, and one time professor of Rasmussen, says, “it’s a major debut for a truly deserving young poet.” Rasmussen says he hopes to use this time to promote “Black Aperture” as well as get started on a second book.
These are not the first acknowledgements that the poet has received. Rasmussen is the recipient of multiple grants and residencies, has been published in several journals such as Gulf Coast and Dislocate, is the founding co-editor of Birds, LLC, an independent poetry press, and the author of a chapbook titled Fingergun.