Kingsley Tuft/Black Panther Poet/Dyer-Ives – Poetry News Roundup February 21st

In today’s round-up of poetry-related news articles we look at this years Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the poet who was inspired by the film “Black Panther” and the 50th year of the Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition.

Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award Won by Patricia Smith

The winner of this year’s Kingsley Tufts Poetry award is Patricia Smith who has won with her collection “Incendiary Art: Poems”. The award is based at the Claremont Graduate University and carries with it a $100,000 first prize; this is the largest prize given to a single volume of poetry worldwide.

Established in 1992 by Kate Tufts following the death of her husband the award is given to a poet who is mid-career. Kingsley Tufts, who was a successful shipyard executive, was a lover of poetry, and had had a number of his own poems published in various magazines. In 1993 the Kate Tufts Discovery Award which is awarded at the same time was established.

The winner of this year’s Kate Tufts Discovery Award is Donika Kelly, “Bestiary” her poetry collection, was her first book and she was awarded a prize of $10,000. In 2016 “Bestiary” was put on the National Book Award’s long list. At the same time, it was named as perhaps one of the finest poetry books of the year according to NYT, when it was likened to the works of Sylvia Plath and Louise Glück for the poets use of dark emotion.

The award ceremony will take place on April 19th.

Poet Inspired by Film

The new Hollywood blockbuster “Black Panther” is the inspiration behind the words of a poem written by Jeremiah “Sugar J.” Brown. The spoken word poet who is part of the Subject to Change campaign at the Barbican in London has penned a poem titled “I’m Rooting for Everybody Black”.

The title of the poem was inspired by a tweet made by Tobi Kyeremateng, the arts producer in which the actress Issa Rae is quoted as having used those exact words during an interview before the 2017 Emmy Awards.

The campaign which invites young poets to speak on the subject of the changing world plays host to 12 young poets; a different one will speak every month.

50 years of the Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition

Last year it might have seemed that this day would not come, the Dyer-Ives Foundation found themselves closing the doors. However, Christine Krieger, who had been overseeing the competition since 1997 was tasked with finding a potential custodian. And find one she did, after much searching she narrowed down her task to the Grand Rapids Public Library, this will now be the new home of the poetry prize which together with the Grand Rapids’ Poet Laureate will be funded in perpetuity by the foundation.

The competition is open to local poets and encourages them to enter their poems in a number of different age categories. Winning poems are published in Voices, the journal for winning poems that is published annually. The competition is each year by a nationally selected judge. Past judges have included Gwendolyn Brooks, Billy Collins and James Wright. This year’s guest judge will be Azizi Jasper, who is a local, having been born in Grand Rapids.

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