For Immediate Release

2012 Prizes for Contributors to Poetry Announced

Eight prizes awarded to poets, critics, and essayists featured in the magazine over the past year
August 14th, 2012

CHICAGO — The Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine are proud to announce the winners of eight 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 2011 to September 2012.

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 Dean Young for his poems “Handy Guide,” “Crash Test Dummies of an Imperfect God,” and “Dear Bob,” in the November 2011 issue; “Spring Reign” in the February 2012 issue; and “Peach Farm” in the June 2012 issue. Young’s most recent book is Fall Higher (Copper Canyon Press, 2011). A collection of new and selected poems, Bender, is forthcoming.

THE BESS HOKIN PRIZE, established in 1948 through the generosity of Poetry’s late friend and guarantor Mrs. David Hokin, in the amount of $1,000, is awarded to Linda Kunhardt for her poems “Indian Winter,” “Road Work,” “Clifton Webb,” “The Jingle,” and “More Juice Please” in the December 2011 issue. Kunhardt has worked in schools in New York and New Hampshire. She was recently an AmeriCorps member in its Victim Assistance Program. She lives in Center Sandwich, New Hampshire.

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 Ange Mlinko for her poem “Cantata for Lynette Roberts” in the October 2011 issue. Mlinko’s most recent book of poetry is Shoulder Season (Coffee House Press, 2010). She teaches at the University of Houston.

THE J. HOWARD AND BARBARA M.J. WOOD PRIZE, endowed since 1994, in the amount of $5,000, is awarded to Eduardo Corral for his poems “To the Angelbeast” and “To Robert Hayden” in the December 2011 issue and “In Colorado My Father Scoured and Stacked Dishes” in the April 2012 issue. Carl Phillips selected Corral’s first book, Slow Lightning (Yale University Press, 2012), as the 2011 winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition.

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 Peter Cole for his translation portfolio “The Poetry of Kabbalah” in the March 2012 issue. Cole’s The Poetry of Kabbalah: Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition was published in March 2012 by Yale University Press.

THE FRIENDS OF LITERATURE PRIZE, established in 2002 by the Friends of Literature, in the amount of $500, is awarded to Devin Johnston for his poems in the May 2012 issue, “New Song” and “A Close Shave.” Johnston’s most recent books are Traveler: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011) and Creaturely and Other Essays (Turtle Point, 2009). He is an editor for Flood Editions.

THE EDITORS PRIZE FOR FEATURE ARTICLE, established in 2005, in the amount of $1,000, is awarded to Mary Ruefle for her essays in the June 2012 and July/August 2012 issues, “On Fear” and “I Remember, I Remember.” Ruefle’s latest book of poetry is Selected Poems (Wave Books, 2010). Her collected lectures, Madness, Rack and Honey, were published by Wave in August 2012.

THE EDITORS PRIZE FOR REVIEWING, established in 2004, in the amount of $1,000, is awarded to Adam Kirsch for his review of The Letters of T.S. Eliot, Volume 1 and 2 in the January 2012 issue. Kirsch is a senior editor at the New Republic. He is the author of Invasions: Poems (Ivan R. Dee, 2008) and, most recently, Why Trilling Matters (Yale University Press, 2011).

Prize-winning Contributors to Poetry from the last 100 years
Poetry’s 2012 prize-winning contributors join the esteemed company of such poets as John Berryman, E.E. Cummings, Robert Frost, Yusef Komunyakaa, Marianne Moore, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, Anne Sexton, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams, to name a few. As Poetry celebrates its centennial in 2012, it continues to discover new voices while honoring those poets whose work has appeared in its pages over the last 100 years.

The oldest of the magazine’s prizes still awarded today, the Levinson Prize has been presented annually since 1914. The first Levinson Prize was granted to Carl Sandburg for his “Chicago Poems” in the March 1914 issue. Other notable winners include Wallace Stevens, who in 1920 was awarded the prize for “Anecdote of the Jar,” among other poems in the October 1919 issue. Hart Crane’s “The Bridge,” parts of which appeared in the April 1930 and October 1927 issues, won in 1930. Marianne Moore won the prize in 1933 for “The Steeple-Jack” and two other poems in the June 1932 issue. E.E. Cummings won in 1939 for seven poems in the January 1939 issue, including “love is more thicker than forget”. Dylan Thomas won in 1945 for “Poem in October” (February 1945) and “A Winter’s Tale” (July 1945). Basil Bunting won in 1966 for “Briggflatts” in the January 1966 issue. Raymond Carver won in 1985 for “Happiness”, “For Tess”, and other poems in the February and September 1985 issues. Other winners of the Levinson prize include Robert Frost (1922), Edna St. Vincent Millay (1931), H.D. (1938), Robinson Jeffers (1940), Archibald MacLeish (1941), Muriel Rukeyser (1947), Randall Jarrell (1948), James Merrill (1949), John Berryman (1950), Theodore Roethke (1951), William Carlos Williams (1954), Thom Gunn (1955), Stanley Kunitz (1956), Hayden Carruth (1958), Delmore Schwartz (1959), Robert Creeley (1960), Anne Sexton (1962), Robert Lowell (1963), Robert Duncan (1964), Gary Snyder (1968), A.R. Ammons (1970), John Ashbery (1977), Yusef Komunyakaa (1997), and Rita Dove (1998). 

The Bess Hokin Prize was established in 1948 and has been awarded to Ruth Stone (1953), Hayden Carruth (1954), Sylvia Plath (1957), Denise Levertov (1960), W.S. Merwin (1962), Adrienne Rich (1963), Gary Snyder (1964), Galway Kinnell (1965), Wendell Berry (1967), Gary Soto (1977), Gerald Stern (1980), Linda Pastan (1985), and Paul Muldoon (1996), among others.

The Frederick Bock Prize was founded in 1981. Past winners include Billy Collins (1992) and Jane Kenyon (1993).

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. In 2011, the magazine was honored with two National Magazine Awards. It celebrates its centennial in 2012.

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 partnerships, prizes, and programs. Opened to the public in June 2011, the Poetry Foundation building in Chicago provides new space for the Foundation’s extensive roster of public programs and events. It also houses a public garden, a library, and an exhibition gallery, as well as the offices of the Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine. For more information, please visit

POETRY FOUNDATION | 61 West Superior Street | Chicago, IL 60654 | 312.787.7070 | Media Contact: Kristin Gecan, 312.799.8065;

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