The Academy of American Poets is pleased to announce the winners of its annual collection of poetry prizes. This year, the organization has awarded nearly $200,000 to poets at various stages of their careers.  
Gary Snyder


$100,000 for outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry


Academy of American Poets Chancellor Jane Hirshfield praised his selection, saying: 


"Gary Snyder has brought to American poetry a lyric poem whose subjects and views are objectively epic. His words look into the world and our human lives with acuity, affection, and the ethics of a ten-thousand-year perception. They have altered and marked both how we know and how we say."


Nominated and elected by the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors

Brenda Hillman

$25,000 for distinguished poetic achievement


About Brenda Hillman's poems, Academy of American Poets Chancellor Sharon Olds said:


"Linguistically, spatially, politically, emotionally, Brenda Hillman's brilliant poems are some of the most thrilling poems we have. Our I.Q.s and our Heart Q.s rise when we read her. Each line, each poem, each book, extraordinarily fresh and original, is minted alive before our eyes."


Nominated and elected by the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors

World Tree by David Wojahn

LENORE MARSHALL POETRY PRIZE: David Wojahn's World Tree (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011)

$25,000 for the most outstanding book of poetry published in the United States in the previous year


Of the winning book, Linda Gregerson said:


"David Wojahn's World Tree is a book of consummate vision and artistry. Exquisitely cadenced, politically astute, large of heart, and keen of mind, these are poems of extraordinary moral penetration. They are also a joy to read: David Wojahn is working at the height of his powers."


Judges: Linda Gregerson, David St. John, and current U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey

Catherine Barnett JAMES LAUGHLIN AWARD: Catherine Barnett's The Game of Boxes (Graywolf Press, 2012)

$5,000 for an outstanding second book of poetry 


April Bernard said of Barnett's winning book: 


"With subtle and cumulative force, The Game of Boxes builds a complex poetic structure in which fundamental questions about motherhood, trust, eroticism, and spiritual meaning are posed and then set into motion in relation to one another. The mind is delighted, the spirit enthralled, by this wonderful book."


Judges: April Bernard, Cyrus Cassells, and Dana Levin

The following awards were announced earlier this year: 


Jennifer Scappettone RAIZISS / DE PALCHI TRANSLATION BOOK AWARD: Jennifer Scappettone's Locomotrix: Selected Poetry and Prose, a translation of Amelia Rosselli (University of Chicago Press, 2012)

Judges: Geoffrey Brock, Victoria Surliuga, and Anthony Julian Tamburri. 


Matt Rasmussen WALT WHITMAN AWARD for first-book publication:

Matt Rasmussen's Black Aperture

Judge: Jane Hirshfield




Jen Hofer's Negro Marfil / Ivory Black, a translation of Myriam Moscona (Les Figues Press, 2011)

Judge: Pierre Joris  



The Academy of American Poets sponsors over 200 annual college prizes, distributing close to $25,000 each year to young poets.

September 27, 2012
The recipients will be honored at the Poets Awards Ceremony, presented by the Academy of American Poets as part of the annual Poets Forum.
The event is free and open to the public.

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2012 Poets Forum
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