After being honored with the Walt Whitman Award last spring,
Rasmussen’s book, Black Aperture, became one of five finalists for the
National Book Award in Poetry this year. The National Book Award is a
competitive, prestigious literary award, whose recipients include
numerous famed writers, including William Faulkner, Ralph Ellison, and
Rachel Carson. In celebration of Professor of English Matt Rasmussen
‘98 and the success of his first book of poetry, Black Aperture, the
Provost’s Office will be hosting a reception on Thursday, Dec. 5 from
3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Book Mark.
Professor of English Phil Bryant ‘73 taught Rasmussen when he was a
student at Gustavus and currently works as his colleague in the
“I was just bowled over when he got the Whitman award . . . and then
he got some other awards, and then when the National Book Award came
around, I was very happy, but I wasn’t that surprised.”
Rasmussen has said Bryant was an influence on his creative writing
when he was a student, though Bryant believes Rasmussen has benefited
from natural talent and ability as well.
“He’s a naturally gifted writer who has his own voice. And I think
that’s something that’s not taught,” Bryant said.
The community is invited to attend the event at the Book Mark to
support and celebrate Rasmussen’s success and contribution to