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$100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award goes to Timothy Donnelly

February 7, 2012 |  9:28 am

TimothydonnellyClaremont Graduate University's $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award will be given to Timothy Donnelly for his book "The Cloud Corporation," originally published by independent poetry press Wave Books. The prize is one the poetry world's most substantial, and most prestigious. It is designed to a support a poet in mid-career.

Donnelly, who is teaching at Princeton this spring, is on the writing faculty at Columbia University. He lives in Brooklyn with his family. It took him seven years to complete "The Cloud Corporation."

"I’m among the many people in this country who have had to go into significant debt just to get by," Donnelly said after the award was announced. "All the anxiety in the book about the economy and the struggle to make ends meet isn’t just for effect -- it’s all very personal. This prize will give my family and me a measure of financial stability that would otherwise have taken a decade or more to achieve. But as true as all that is, it’s the honor of having had "The Cloud Corporation" chosen for this distinction that I really can’t wrap my head around."

In addition to the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, Claremont Graduate University has announced the winner of its Kate Tufts Discovery Award, which is presented to a poet for his or her debut collection. That will go to Katherine Larson for "Radical Symmetry," published by Yale University Press. Larson, who lives in Arizona with her family, has worked for a decade as a molecular biologist and field ecologist.

Previous winners of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award include Yusef Komunyakaa, Chase Twichell, Tom Sleigh, Matthea Harvey and Robert Wrigley.

The winners will be feted at an award ceremony in Claremont on April 19; author Maxine Hong Kingston will give special remarks.

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Nonagenarian wins $100,000 poetry prize

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Timothy Donnelly. Credit: The Poetry Foundation

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