Poetry News

2016 Kingsley and Kate Tufts Poetry Awards Go to Ross Gay and Danez Smith

By Harriet Staff


If you were lamenting the fact that the unbelievably supportive Windham-Campbell Prizes do not have a poetry category (just us?), never fear: The $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is here. And today, Claremont Graduate University has announced that none other than Ross Gay has won the 2016 prize! The $10,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, also nothing to sneeze at, is going home with Danez Smith. Congrats to all! From the release:

Claremont Graduate University (CGU) is pleased to announce that Ross Gay, of Bloomington, Indiana, has won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for his book Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (University of Pittsburgh Press). The award, given annually to a mid-career poet, is among the world’s most generous and distinguished prizes for a book of poetry.

Danez Smith, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has won the $10,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for their book [insert] boy (YesYes Books). The Kate Tufts Discovery Award is given annually for a first book by a poet of genuine promise.

A ceremony for this year's winners will be held on April 7, 2016 at 5 pm at Rose Hills Theater, Smith Campus Center (170 E. 6th Street, Claremont).

Gay, the author of three collections of poetry, teaches at Indiana University. His previous two collections are Bringing the Shovel Down (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011) and Against Which (CavanKerry Press, 2006). His past honors include fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Radcliffe Institute.

Chief Judge Chase Twichell said the jury was impressed by Gay’s ability to “conjure profound and genuine epiphanies out of ordinary things.”