English PhD Audrey Golden wins third place in National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest

August 10, 2014

Audrey Golden, a recent PhD and lecturer in the English Department, has been named third prize winner in the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest. Contestants include the winners of three dozen book collecting contests held at colleges and universities across the country. Her entry, “Pablo Neruda and the Global Politics of Poetry,” had won first place in the 50th Student Book Collecting Contest sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia last spring.

The press release from the Bibliographical Society of UVA explains further:

Golden will be honored at an awards ceremony at the Library of Congress on October 17. Her prize includes $500 and a $250 gift to the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia. The national contest is sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA), the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (FABS), the Center for the Book, and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division (the Library of Congress), with major support from the Jay I. Kislak Foundation.

As Golden explained in her contest essay, Neruda’s “writings traverse borders of time and space, speaking to ideas of freedom, resistance, and the power of written speech in the face of tyranny.” Golden compiled her collection in her travels on five different continents, visiting each of Neruda’s three homes in Chile, and trolling bookstores from Buenos Aires to Prague and Moscow to Australia. The result is a very extensive collection of Neruda’s works published in seventeen different countries. As Golden describes it, “the assemblage is as diverse as the regions it represents--some books are miniatures with intricate engraved text, while others are too large for traditional bookshelves. Paper covers and inserts reflect the unique colored inks of Argentinian and Chilean presses, the woodblock printings of German and Israeli artists, and the hand-sewn care of bookbinders in Hungary and the former Czechoslovakia.” Her interest in Neruda, who “[emphasizes] the deep connections between imaginative literature and resistance,” is fueled by her academic work in international law and contemporary world literature. She looks forward to expanding the collection “to reflect Neruda’s import across the globe.”