It has come close several times, but on Wednesday night Minneapolis’ Coffee House Press became a winner when the National Book Award for Poetry went to “Indecency,” by Justin Phillip Reed. Reed, who lives in St. Louis, has published poems in the Kenyon Review, Obsidian and elsewhere. He is the author of a chapbook, but “Indecency,” which Coffee House published in May, is his first full-length book. Graywolf Press of Minneapolis published two of the finalists — “A Lucky Man,” a collection of linked stories by Jamel Brinkley, and “Eye Level,“ a collection of poems by Jenny Xie. The other winners were “The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke,” by Jeffrey C. Stewart, for nonfiction; “The Emissary,” by Yoko Tawada, translated from the Japanese by Margaret Mitsutani, for the new category of books in translation; “The Friend,” by Sigrid Nunez, in fiction, and “The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo in young people’s literature.
‘Hee Haw’ star Roy Clark dies
Country star Roy Clark, the guitar virtuoso and singer who headlined the cornpone TV show “Hee Haw” for nearly a quarter-century and was known for such hits as “Yesterday When I was Young” and “Honeymoon Feeling,” has died. He was 85. Publicist Jeremy Westby said Clark died Thursday due to complications from pneumonia at home in Tulsa, Okla. Clark was “Hee Haw” host or co-host for its entire 24-year run, with Buck Owens his best-known co-host. The country music and comedy show’s last episode aired in 1993, though reruns continued for a few years. Clark played guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica and other instruments. In 1976 he headlined a tour of the Soviet Union, breaking boundaries that were usually closed to Americans. He also was a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.
Denied: Pop star Christina Aguilera said a band at a New Orleans bar denied her a turn on the mic the night before she performed in the city. News outlets report that Aguilera went to Cafe Negril the day before her Nov. 9 tour stop for her latest album, “Liberation.” The multi-Grammy Award winner offered to sing with the bar’s act, Claude Bryant and The Allstars. Bryant said he didn’t recognize Aguilera wearing a baseball cap and a jersey.
Ambassador: Idris Elba’s daughter has been chosen as the Golden Globe ambassador to assist with the glitzy awards ceremony. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association said 16-year-old Isan Elba will assume the ambassador title for the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards in January. Her 46-year-old father was named Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine last week. An ambassador assists with award presentations, handing out trophies and escorting winners offstage.