Aurore Clavier wins 2nd Annual Marianne Moore Essay Prize


We are pleased to announce that the second Annual Marianne Moore Essay Prize goes to Aurore Clavier, of Lille 3 University in France, for her essay “‘The First Grace of Style’: Marianne Moore and the Writing of Dancing,” Twenty-First Century Marianne Moore: Essays from a Critical Renaissance (Palgrave: 2017): 203-220.

The award is accompanied by a check in the amount of $500.

Judges Statement:

In a year this rich with new Marianne Moore scholarship choosing a single best essay was not easy. Writers explored Moore’s prosody, her preoccupations, her sources, her influences, and her legacy, while considering in detail poems from every phase of her career. If this year’s published work suggests any consistent trends in Moore scholarship, they are: renewed attention to Moore’s poetry written after the Second World War, and the continuing impact of Linda Leavell’s biography, Holding on Upside Down, on our collective understanding of Moore’s life. We chose to award this year’s prize to Aurore Clavier’s “‘The First Grace of Style’: Marianne Moore and the Writing of Dancing.” This elegant essay joins Leavell’s revelations about Moore’s physical life to an account of Moore’s interest in dance, reading the latter as a model for Moore’s late poetry. It suggests that dance is an underappreciated facet of Moore’s aesthetic aims and practices, and shows us a way forward from an outmoded caricature of Moore as disembodied intellect. It is a strong essay in a strong year, and we are pleased to recognize its contribution to Moore studies.


—Prof. Stephanie Burt (Harvard University) and Prof. Heather Cass White (University of Alabama

Congratulations to all entrants on their excellent contributions to Moore studies.