The Poetry Foundation announces the 2021 Pegasus Awards and the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship winners


originally published: 09/16/2021

(CHICAGO, IL) – The Poetry Foundation has announced Patricia Smith as the recipient of the 2021 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, Susan Briante as the 2021 Pegasus Prize Winner for Poetic Criticism, and Bryan Byrdlong, Steven Espada Dawson, Noor Hindi, Natasha Rao and Simon Shieh as the 2021 Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellows laureates. The awards are sponsored and administered by the Poetry Foundation, an independent literary organization and publisher of Poetry magazine, and will be presented at a virtual awards ceremony on October 21, open to all. This is the first time in many years that the recipients of these awards each year will be honored together at the same ceremony.

“Each of these extraordinary writers does justice to this art form, each bringing their own unique experiences and approaches to enrich the literary landscape,” said Michelle T. Boone, President of the Poetry Foundation. “It is a joyous occasion to be able to celebrate with each other artists of the poetic lineage, what they have created so far and what is yet to come.”

Patricia Smith of Chicago receives great honor – The Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize annually honors a living American poet with a prize of $ 100,000 in recognition of outstanding work of a lifetime. It is one of the most prestigious awards given to American poets and one of the greatest literary prizes in the country.

Patricia smith (she / she) is a Chicago poet, whose love for the city and its people is palpable in her poems, especially her collections Life according to Motown and Big cities, big discussions. Smith has inspired countless poets during her career, and she continues to serve as a role model and mentor to poets in Chicago and beyond. Her formal dexterity and the array of voices, narratives and stories covered in her work – from exuberant lyric poems and sonnet-animated crowns to personal poems through which she inhabits a diversity of characters – make Smith a leader in his job.

In addition to her many other accolades, Smith is a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, the most successful poet in the history of the competition. His work through the division of pages into poetry marks an important contribution to dismantling false dichotomies and paves the way for new generations of poets to explore the full range of poetic possibilities open to them.

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Smith is the author of eight books of poetry, including Incendiary art, winner of a Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and a NAACP Image Award, and finalist for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the Pulitzer Prize; I should have been Jimi Savannah, who won a Lenore Marshall Award from the Academy of American Poets; and Dazzling with blood, a chronicle of the human and environmental cost of Hurricane Katrina, which was nominated for a National Book Award. His next collection of poems, to be released in 2022, will combine dramatic monologues with 19th-century photos of African Americans from his vast private collection.

Founded in 1986, past recipients of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize are WS Merwin, Kay Ryan, Joy Harjo, Marilyn Nelson and most recently Marilyn Chin.

Susan Briante wins Hybrid Work of Criticism Award – The Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism, valued at $ 7,500, annually recognizes the best critical works published in the preceding calendar year; the prize rewards biographies, collections of essays and critical editions that deal with the subject of poetry or poets.

Susan briante (she) receives the prize of Degrade the monument, a series of essays on immigration, archives, aesthetics and the state. Examining the migration and red tape of the US-Mexico border, Briante delivers a provocative meditation on what official documents reveal or obscure. In a star-studded review, Editor’s Weekly calls the collection “a superb examination of the ethical issues facing artists who tell the stories of others” and a “dazzling text of inventiveness and research”.

Briante is also the author of collections of poetry: Pioneers in the study of movement, Utopia Less, and The Wonders of the Market, all published by Ahsahta Press. Its awards include accolades from the MacDowell Colony, the Academy of American Poets, and the Mexican-American Fund for Culture. She is a professor of creative writing at the University of Arizona, where she is also the co-coordinator of the Southwest Field Studies in Writing Program. The program brings MFA students to the US-Mexico border to engage in reciprocal research projects with community environmental and social justice groups.

Criticism 2021 finalists were editor Mayra A. Rodriguez Castro for Audre Lorde: Dream of Europe, and Rosanna Warren for Max Jacob: a life of art and letters; the most recent previous recipient was Saskia Hamilton in 2020.

An exceptional cohort of young poets – The Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships recognize outstanding young poets, providing early career support to encourage the study and writing of poetry in any form they choose. Each poet receives a prize of $ 25,800, making these scholarships one of the largest and most prestigious awards available to young poets in the United States.

The cohort of 2021 scholarship recipients:

Bryan Byrdlong (he / him) is a black writer from Chicago, Illinois. He is a graduate of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan and a doctoral candidate in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Southern California. Byrdlong’s honors include first place in Boulevard reviewPoetry competition 2020 for emerging poets and a 2020 Gregory Djanikian scholarship from The Adroit review.

Winner of a Barriss and Iola Mills Award and a Kneale Award, Steven Espada Dawson (he / him) is a writer from East Los Angeles, currently located in Austin, TX. The son of a Mexican immigrant, he received his Masters of Fine Arts from Purdue University and was a poetry editor for Sycamore review and a senior poetry editor for Copper nickel. Espada Dawson teaches community poetry workshops for the Austin Library Foundation and mentors young poets at Ellipsis Writing.

Noor Hindi (she / she) is a Palestinian-American poet and journalist. Hindi received her BA and MA in Fine Arts from Akron University and is a member of the Reveal Investigative Fellow 2020/2021 program through the Reveal Center for Investigative Reporting. His work has been published or is to appear in Poetry, Hobart, Jubilat, and Literary pole, and among others. His first collection of poems, My God. Dear Bones. Dear Yellow. is forthcoming from Haymarket Books.

Winner of the 2021 APR / Honickman first book prize for her first collection Latitude, Natasha Rao (she / she) is a poet and educator from New Jersey. Rao holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA from New York University, where she was a Goldwater Fellow. Appointed 2021 Djanikian Fellow by The Adroit review, his work appears or is to appear in The American Poetry Review, The nation, Poetry Northwest, and Narrative, among others. She is editor-in-chief of American chordata, and lives in Brooklyn.

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Simon shieh (he / him) is the founder of the creative arts platform for teenagers InkBeat Arts, and co-founder of the Spittoon Literary Magazine. Shieh has taught American literature and society at the China University of Foreign Affairs and was a writer-in-residence at the International School of Beijing. His honors include second place in Narrative Review‘s 2020 30 below contest and inclusion in Best New Poets 2020.

The 2021 scholarship finalists were Diannely Antigua, Alexis V. Jackson, Aurielle Marie, Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley, Kelan Nee, Tamara Panici and Julian Randall.

The Poetry Foundation, editor of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization dedicated to a vigorous presence of poetry in American culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and present it to as many people as possible. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in creating a climate receptive to poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues of dissemination, and encouraging new types of poetry through literary awards and programs. innovative.

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