Winners of 2013 Kingsley and Kate Tufts Poetry Awards

Poets Heidy Steidlmayer and Marianne Boruch (photos from The Poetry Foundation)

Claremont Graduate University is handing out a couple of huge poetry prizes here in Claremont, California.

Earlier this month in a press release, CGU announced Marianne Boruch won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for her book The Book of Hours. The prize, given to a mid-career poet, is one of the largest cash prizes a poet can win in the United States. Boruch teaches creative writing at Purdue University and is also involved in the low-residency Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Heidy Steidlmayer of Vacaville, California, won the $10,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for her book Fowling Piece. The annual award is given for a first book of poems. Steidlmayer’s poems have appeared in Poetry, TriQuarterly, Ploughshares, and in other prestigious poetry journals.

“We are delighted to honor these poets and celebrate their achievements,” Wendy Martin is quoted as saying. Martin, who is vice provost at Claremont Graduate University and director of the Tufts Poetry Awards program, goes on to say, “These Awards will help them gain wider recognition and will sustain their continuing commitment to writing outstanding poetry.”

The press release describes The Kingsley and Kate Tufts Poetry Awards as having been established in 1993 at Claremont Graduate University by Kate Tufts to memorialize her husband, a Los Angeles shipyard executive who had a passion for writing poetry. The goal of the award is recognize a poet who is no longer a beginner but is very much in mid-career.

A ceremony will be held at Garrison Theater (231 E. 10th Street in Claremont) on Thursday, April 18.

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