For Immediate Release

2009 Prizes for Contributors to Poetry Announced

Nine prizes awarded to poets, critics and essayists featured in the magazine over the past year
September 15th, 2009

CHICAGO — The Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine are proud to announce the winners of nine awards for contributions to Poetry over the past year. The prizes are awarded for poems and prose published during the past 12 months, from October 2008 to September 2009.

the levinson prize, presented annually since 1914 through the generosity of the late Salmon O. Levinson and his family, for the sum of $500, is awarded to Ilya Kaminsky for his poems in the May 2009 issue. Kaminsky was born in Odessa, in the former USSR, and came to the United States in 1993, when his family received asylum from the American government. He is the author of Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004) and currently teaches poetry and comparative literature at San Diego State University.

the bess hokin prize, established in 1948 through the generosity of Mrs. David Hokin, our late friend and guarantor, for the sum of $1000, is awarded to Roddy Lumsden for his poems in the December 2008 and January 2009 issues. Lumsden’s fifth collection is Third Wish Wasted (Bloodaxe Books, 2009). He teaches at City University and for the Poetry School in London. He is currently preparing Identity Parade, a major new anthology of recent British and Irish poetry.

the frederick bock prize, founded in 1981 by friends in memory of the former associate editor of Poetry, for the sum of $500, is awarded to Don Paterson for his poems in the September 2009 issue. Paterson works as an editor and musician, and teaches at the University of St Andrews. Recent publications include Best Thought, Worst Thought (Graywolf Press, 2008), a collection of aphorisms, and Orpheus, a version of Rilke’s Die Sonette an Orpheus (Faber and Faber, 2007). A new collection, Rain, is forthcoming.

the j. howard and barbara m.j. wood prize, endowed since 1994, in the sum of $5000, is awarded to Sarah Lindsay for her poems in the October 2008 issue. Lindsay is the author of Primate Behavior (1997) and Mount Clutter (2003), both from Grove Press, as well as Twigs and Knuckle-bones (Copper Canyon Press, 2008).

the john frederick nims memorial prize for translation, established in 1999 by Bonnie Larkin Nims, trustees of the Poetry Foundation, and friends of the late poet, translator, and editor, in the amount of $500, is awarded to Susanna Nied for her translations from Inger Christensen in the May 2009 issue. Nied is a former instructor of English and comparative literature. She has received a PEN/American-Scandinavian Foundation Translation Prize, was one of two finalists for a PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and was co-recipient of the Harold Morton Landon Translation Prize from the Academy of American Poets.

the friends of literature prize, established in 2002 by the Friends of Literature, in the amount of $500, is awarded to Sandra Beasley for her poems in the July/August 2009 issue. Beasley won the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize for I Was the Jukebox (W.W. Norton), selected by Joy Harjo. Her first collection is Theories of Falling (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2008).

the editors prize for feature article, established in 2005, in the amount of $1000, is awarded to Daisy Fried for her essay in the July/August 2009 issue. Fried’s My Brother Is Getting Arrested Again (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry. She lives in Philadelphia.

the editors prize for reviewing, established in 2004, in the amount of $1000, is awarded to Jason Guriel for his reviews in the October 2008 and March 2009 issues. Guriel’s new collection of poems is Pure Product (Vehicule Press, spring 2009). He lives in Toronto.

the editors prize for best letter, established in 2009, in the amount of $250, is awarded to Reagan Upshaw for his letter in the May 2009 issue.

The prizes are organized and administered by the Poetry Foundation in Chicago, publisher of Poetry magazine.

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About Poetry Magazine

Founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. Monroe’s “Open Door” policy, set forth in Volume 1 of the magazine, remains the most succinct statement of Poetry’s mission: to print the best poetry written today, in whatever style, genre, or approach. The magazine established its reputation early by publishing the first important poems of T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, H.D., William Carlos Williams, Carl Sandburg, and other now-classic authors. In succeeding decades it has presented—often for the first time—works by virtually every major contemporary poet.

About the Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine and one of the largest literary organizations in the world, exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, please visit

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