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The Walt Whitman Award was established in 1975 to encourage new and emerging poets. Administered by the Academy of American Poets, it is awarded to American poets that have never before published a book. There is a $5,000 cash prize, along with publication of their first poetry book and a one-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center.
Recent winners include Jonathan Thirkield, Sally Van Doren, and Anne Pierson Wiese.
The Academy of American Poets administers the Tanning Prize, established in 1994. Painter Dorothea Tanning presented the Academy with a gift of $2 million to endow the prize, which offers a $100,000 yearly prize, the largest prize for poetry in the United States. The prize is given to a living American poet "in recognition of outstanding and proven mastery of the art of poetry."
Past winners include W.S. Merwin, who won the first prize in 1994, James Tate, and Adrienne Rich.
Lenore Guinzberg Marshall (1897-1971) was a poet as well as a peace and anti-nuclear activist. She was a member of a number of prestigious organizations, including the Poetry Society of America and the Authors League of America, and was a co-founder of the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE).
In 1975, an award was established in her name to recognize the most outstanding book of poetry published in the United States in the previous year. The prize is endowed by a gift to the Academy of American Poets, and is currently set at $25,000 annually.
Past winners have included Henri Cole, Alice Notley, Eleanor Lerman, and Anne Winters.
Organized chronologically, The "Complete Poems of Anne Sexton" is a collection of her life's work. Born in Massachusetts in 1928, Sexton completed 10 volumes of poetry before her self-inflicted death in 1974. All of her poetry books, including her Pulitzer award-winning "Live or Die," are included in this over 600 page book, which was compiled and completed in the early 1980s. Called a "confessional poet," Sexton's poetry draws from her rich and complicated life experiences: the death of her mother, sexual affairs, motherhood, her profession, and the political and social climate. The book is a monument of her career as a writer and her skill as a poet; even after 30 years, her work is still relevant, important and critical within literary history, giving the writer insight into the particular literary movements over several decades.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|