For Immediate Release

2011 Prizes for Contributors to Poetry Announced

Nine prizes awarded to poets, critics, and essayists featured in the magazine over the past year
September 15th, 2011

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 2010 to September 2011.

the levinson prize, presented annually since 1914 through the generosity of the late Salmon O. Levinson and his family, in the amount of $500, is awarded to Carolyn Forché for her poems in the February and March 2011 issues, “Travel Papers” and “The Ghost of Heaven,” as well as her essay in the May 2011 issue, “Reading the Living Archives: The Witness of Literary Art.” Forché is editing, with Duncan Wu, the second volume of her anthology Against Forgetting and is at work on a prose account of her formative years as a poet. She directs the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice at Georgetown University, where she is a professor of English.

the bess hokin prize, established in 1948 through the generosity of our late friend and guarantor Mrs. David Hokin, in the amount of $1,000, is awarded to Tom Pickard for his poem in the December 2010 issue, “Lark & Merlin.” Pickard’s most recent book, More Pricks Than Prizes, was published by Pressed Wafer earlier this year. He lives in the North Pennine Hills of England.

the frederick bock prize, founded in 1981 by friends in memory of the former associate editor of Poetry, in the amount of $500, is awarded to Reginald Dwayne Betts for his poem in the September 2011 issue, “For you: anthophilous, lover of flowers.” Betts is the author of the memoir A Question of Freedom (Avery, 2009) and the poetry collection Shahid Reads His Own Palm (Alice James Books, 2010). He will be spending the 2011–12 year as a Harvard Radcliffe Fellow working on a poetry collection titled Bastards of the Reagan.

the j. howard and barbara m.j. wood prize, endowed since 1994, in the amount of $5,000, is awarded to Franz Wright for his five poems in the January 2011 issue and his poem in the May 2011 issue, “Our Conversation.” Wright’s recent collection of prose poems, Kindertotenwald, was published this fall by Alfred A. Knopf. His other books include Entries of the Cell (Marick Press, 2010) and Wheeling Motel (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009).

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 A.E. Stallings for her translations of Angelos Sikelianos in the June 2011 issue and Plutarch in the July/August 2011 issue. Her most recent book is a verse translation of Lucretius, The Nature of Things (Penguin, 2007). Stallings is a current Guggenheim Fellow.

the friends of literature prize, established in 2002 by the Friends of Literature, in the amount of $500, is awarded to Sina Queyras for the selection of her poem, “Euphoria,” that appeared in the December 2010 issue. Queyras is the author of four books of poetry, including Expressway (2009) and Lemon Hound (2006), both published by Coach House Books. Her first novel, Autobiography of Childhood, will be published in April 2012.

the editors prize for feature article, established in 2005, in the amount of $1,000, is awarded to Joshua Mehigan for his essay in the July/August 2011 issue, “I Thought You Were a Poet.” Mehigan’s first book, The Optimist (Ohio University Press, 2004), was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He is a 2011 NEA Fellow. His article will be reprinted in 2012 in the German journal Krachkultur, translated by the poet Christophe Fricker.

THE EDITORS PRIZE FOR REVIEWING, established in 2004, in the amount of $1,000, is awarded to Peter Campion for his review of The H.D. Book in the September 2011 issue. Campion is the author of two books of poems, Other People (2005) and The Lions (2009), both from the University of Chicago Press. He is a 2011–12 Guggenheim Fellow and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Minnesota.

THE EDITORS PRIZE FOR BEST LETTER, established in 2009, in the amount of $250, is awarded to Belle Randall for her letter in the December 2010 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, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It 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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