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Pittsburgh poet Toi Derricotte wins Academy of American Poetry prize for her ‘proven mastery’

Toi Derricotte, the revered, award-winning poet and professor emerita of English at the University of Pittsburgh. has known for about a month that she was the recipient of a major prize from the Academy of American Poetry, but she had to keep it a secret. This week, Ms. Derricotte was able to share her secret when it was officially announced that she is the recipient of its 2021 Wallace Stevens Award. Read more

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Poet Patricia Smith wins $100,000 lifetime achievement award

Patricia Smith has won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for lifetime achievement, a $100,000 honor presented by the Chicago-based Poetry Foundation. Previous winners include W.S. Merwin, Kay Ryan and the current poet laureate, Joy Harjo. Smith is known for such collections as “Blood Dazzler” and “Incendiary Art,” a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2018. Read more

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Is the Tractatus more a work of poetry than philosophy?

“Philosophy,” Wittgenstein argued in the posthumously published Culture and Value, “ought really to be written only as poetic composition.” In keeping with its author’s sentiment, I’d claim that the Tractatus is less the greatest philosophical work of the 20th century than it is one of the most immaculate volumes of modernist poetry written in the past hundred years. Read more

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Amanda Gorman and PRH have established a $10,000 prize for public high school poets

Exciting news for high school writers: Amanda Gorman and Penguin Random House have teamed up to launch the Amanda Gorman Award for Poetry. The award will recognize a senior from a public high school for an original poem, and the winner will receive $10,000. The Amanda Gorman Award for Poetry is one of five creative writing awards given by Penguin Random House, whose categories include fiction/drama, personal essay/memoir, and spoken word; current high school seniors who attend U.S. public schools and plan on continuing their education in fall 2022 are encouraged to apply. As of this year, the Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards have awarded over $2.8 million to public high school students for their original writing. Read more

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Three newly discovered manuscripts by Edward Lear

Edward Lear (1812–88) is beloved as the author of “The Owl and the Pussycat” and as one of Britain’s finest nonsense poets. He was also a successful artist and a frequent traveller, who captivated those who knew him with his humorous verses. One such devotee – and a frequent correspondent during Lear’s later life – was a young woman called Mary Theresa Mundella (1847–1922), the daughter of a Liberal politician, Anthony John Mundella (1825–97). This friendship led to a stream of correspondence between Mary Mundella and Lear, as he entertained her with comic letters and poems containing his own special brand of nonsense. Mundella hoarded Lear’s epistles and gifted them to her niece, Dorothea Mary Roby Benson (1876–1942), later Lady Charnwood. It is in the Charnwood Autograph Collection, held at the British Library, that three new Lear manuscripts have been discovered. Read more