In “Chapter and Verse,” Stanley Plumly explains his belief that the direction of contemporary American poetry is away from a strict reliance on imagery and toward a stronger emphasis on rhetoric, on the centrality of the poem’s voice and the speaker’s attitude. His own poems stand as strong examples of this aesthetic. For his first book, In the Outer Dark, Plumly received the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award. In 1973-1974, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship. He received National Endowment for the Arts grants in 1977 and 1983; a National Book Critics Circle Award nomination and William Carlos William Award, both for Out-of-the-Body Travel; a nomination for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize in 1998; and an Ingram-Merrill Foundation fellowship. He won an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2002), the Ohioana Helen and Laura Krout Memorial Poetry Award (2004), a Los Angeles Times Book Prize (2007) and a Paterson Poetry Prize (2008) for Old Heart, and a Corrington Award from Centenary College (2009-2010). In 2009, he was named Maryland’s poet laureate.