2017 marks the 25th anniversary of one of contemporary poetry’s most prestigious awards—Claremont Graduate University’s Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, given for poetry volumes published in the preceding year and created to both honor the poet and provide the resources that allow artists to continue working towards the pinnacle of their craft. In a celebration moderated by the Poetry Society of America’s Executive Director Alice Quinn, join us for an evening looking back at 25 years of this special prize along with readings by this year’s winners Vievee Francis and Phillip B. Williams.
Vievee Francis is the author of Forest Primeval (Northwestern University Press, 2016), Horse in the Dark (Northwestern University Press, 2012), which won the Cave Canem Northwestern University Poetry Prize for a second collection, and Blue-Tail Fly (Wayne State University, 2006). Her work has appeared in numerous print and online journals, textbooks, and anthologies, including Best American Poetry (2010 & 2014) and Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. In 2009 she received a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award and, most recently, the 2016 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. She serves as an Associate Editor of Callaloo and an Associate Professor of English (creative writing) at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH.
Phillip B. Williams is a Chicago, Illinois native. He is the author of the book of poems Thief in the Interior (Alice James Books, 2016), which is a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. He received a 2013 Ruth Lilly Fellowship. Phillip received his MFA in Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. He is the Co-editor in Chief of the online journal Vinyl, was the Emory University Creative Writing Fellow in Poetry for 2015-2016, and is currently visiting professor in English at Bennington College.
Alice Quinn is Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America and an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of the Arts. She was poetry editor at The New Yorker from 1987-2007 and at Alfred A. Knopf from 1976-1986. She is the editor of Edgar Allan Poe & The Juke-Box: Uncollected Poems, Drafts, and Fragments by Elizabeth Bishop. Her articles on and interviews with writers, poets, and artists have appeared in Artforum, the Canadian National Post, The Forward, Poetry Ireland, The New Yorker, and The New Yorker Online. She is currently editing the journals and notebooks of Elizabeth Bishop.