A brief history


Herein is the complete list of the Wormwood Awards for the most overlooked book of worth in a calendar year. This award was based on Marvin Malone’s omnivorous readings in both the establishment and non-establishment press and serves as a rather interesting recommended reading list, with emphasis on the independent press. Note Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s response to the award in 1962.

1961: Alexander Trocchi, The Outsiders (Signet, NAL)

1962: Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Mother Night (Gold Medal/Fawcett)
In a letter dated February 27, 1963 Vonnegut wrote to Malone, saying, “Thank you for the Wormwood Award for the most overlooked book. The book, which cost me a year of my life, sank without a trace. And now, at long last, up comes this one sweet little bubble. God bless you for it.”

1963: James Drought, The Secret (Skylight Press)

1964: Russell Edson, The Very Thing That Happens (New Directions)

1965: Christopher Perret, Memoirs of a Parasite (Hors Commerce Press)

1966: Stanley Crawford, Gascoyne (Putnam)

1967: Peter Wild, The Good Fox (Goodly Co.)

1968: Ian Hamilton Finlay, 3 Blue Lemons (Wild Hawthorn Press)

1969: Charles Bukowski, Notes of a Dirty Old Man (Essex House)

1970: Lorine Niedecker, My Life by Water: Collected Poems 1936–1968 (Fulcrum)

1971: Jonathan Williams, Blues & Roots/Rue & Bluets (Grossman)

1972: Gerald Locklin, Poop, and Other Poems (MAG Press)

1973: Ronald Koertge, The Father-Poems (Sumac Press)

1974: Steve Richmond, Earth Rose (Earth Rose Press)

1975: Lynn Lifshin, Shaker House Poems (Tideline Press)

1976: Phil Weidman, After the Dance (Orchard Press)

1977: Joseph Nicholson, The Dam Builder (Fault Press)

1978: Charles Webb, Zinjanthropus Disease (Querencia Press)

1979: Michael Kasper, Chinese English Sentence Cards: A Novelette (Imaginary Press)

1980: Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel, Toll Bridge: Poems (Contact II Publications)

1981: David Barker, Faded Bungalows (Rhumba Train Press)

1982: Greg Boyd, Circus Deluxe (Jump River Press)

1983: Alan Catlin, Animal Acts (Quality Publications Ltd.)

1984: Kirk Robertson, Two Weeks Off (Floating Island Publications)

1985: Todd Moore, Scales & Weights (Iguana Press)

1986: Lyn Lifshin, The Camping Madonna at Indian Lake (M. A. F. Press)

1987: Phil Weidman, Second Wind: Selected & New Poems (Duck Down Press)

1988: Fred Voss, Goodstone Aircraft Company (P. O. Press)

1989: Jim Daniels, Digger’s Territory (Adastra Press)

The published list of awards ends here, but Malone had planned to update the list in issue 144, which would have been an index issue. Two picks had already been decided:

1990: Thomas Wiloch, Tales of Lord Shantih (Unicorn Press, Inc.)

1993: Jim Linebarger, Anecdotal Evidence (Point Riders Press)