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Academy of American Poets


Academy of American Poets

The Academy of American Poets is a national, member-supported organization that promotes poets and the art of poetry. The nonprofit organization was incorporated in

  • Official website

External links

  1. ^ a b
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  3. ^
  4. ^ Warren, Robert Penn (1984). Fifty Years of American Poetry. Harry N. Abrams. p. 18.  
  5. ^ The quotation from Whitman: Walt Whitman (1892). "III. Notes Left Over 3. Ventures, on an Old Theme". Complete Prose Works. Philadelphia: David McKay. p. 324. 
  6. ^ a b Smith, Dinitia (November 14, 1998). "Two Poets Quit Board Of Academy in Protest". The New York Times. 
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  10. ^ a b
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  14. ^ Viebahn, Fred (1999). "'"Unmasking the 'Gods of Poetry (PDF).   Reprinting of Fred Viebahn's essay from International Quarterly, along with editorial commentary by Charles H. Rowell.
  15. ^ Smith, Dinitia (March 22, 1999). "Criticized as Elitist, Poets' Organization Revamps Its Structure". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
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  18. ^ a b "Academy Fellowship". Academy of American Poets. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  19. ^ "Past Awards & Grants". Academy of American Poets. Archived from the original on 16 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  20. ^ a b c "James Laughlin Award". Academy of American Poets. Archived from the original on 23 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  21. ^ Henderson, Jeanne J. (1973). Literary and Library Prizes. Bowker.  
  22. ^ Shapiro, Harvey (August 9, 1959). "The Timbre of Three New Voices". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  23. ^ Davison, Peter (April 20, 1975). "The Nurture of Poets: The Guest Word". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  24. ^ "Literary Awards".  
  25. ^  
  26. ^ Field, Edward (1998). A Frieze for a Temple of Love. David R. Godine. p. 184.  
  27. ^ a b "Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize". Academy of American Poets. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  28. ^ "Lenore Marshall". James A. Michener Art Museum. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  29. ^ "Lenore G. Marshall, 72, Dies; Was Poet, Novelist, and Editor". The New York Times. September 25, 1971. 
  30. ^ Miller, Marie-Jeanne A. (2005). "Brown, Sterling Allen". In Serafin; Bendixen, Alfred. The Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 135.  
  31. ^ Smith, William Ray (October 16, 1982). "John Logan Wins Marshall Prize". The Nation. 
  32. ^ Cordle, Alan (December 9, 2004). "The Lenore Marshall Prize and the Doping of Poets".  
  33. ^  
  34. ^ "Walt Whitman Award". Academy of American Poets. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
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  36. ^ Lee, Dallas (May 6, 2009). "Walt Whitman, the sublime and the Bibb County Dump". Like the Dew: A Journal of Southern Culture and Politics. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  37. ^ "Authors Jared Carter and Debra Magpie Earling To Read on Dec. 9". The Library of Congress. December 6, 2004. 
  38. ^ Blog, Newoldage. "Walt Whitman Award - Search". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  39. ^  
  40. ^ "Series: Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets". Louisiana State University Press. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  41. ^ "Membership". Academy of American Poets. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  42. ^ "Harold Morton Landon Translation Award". Academy of American Poets. Archived from the original on 15 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  43. ^ "Wallace Stevens Award". Academy of American Poets. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  44. ^ "Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Awards". Academy of American Poets. Archived from the original on 16 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  45. ^ "Academy Most Promising". Academy of American Poets. Retrieved 2015-01-17. 
  46. ^ "University & College Poetry Prizes". Academy of American Poets. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  47. ^


Past awards include the Copernicus Award (from 1974 to 1977), the Edgar Allan Poe Award (from 1974 to 1977), and the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award (from 1983 to 1994).[47]

Past awards

The Academy first began awarding annual $100 prizes to student poets at ten American universities and colleges in 1955. The program has since expanded to include more than 200 schools. According to the Academy, most of these prizes are endowed in perpetuity, though some are funded through other arrangements with the school or through private donors. For a school to become part of the program, a $2,500 endowment contribution is required. Individual schools set the winning criteria for their awards, within the guidelines set by the Academy: winners must be registered students at the school and the school cannot restrict the themes or styles of the entries.[46]

University and college poetry prizes

Established in 2013, the Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank Most Promising Young Poet Award recognizes a student poet twenty-three years old or younger, with an annual cash prize of $1,000. [45]

Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank Most Promising Young Poet Award

Established in 1995, the award seeks to recognize American translators for "outstanding translations into English of modern Italian poetry" that have been published through non-self-publication means. The prize alternates annually between a straight $10,000 book price and a fellowship at the American Academy in Rome and $20,000 for use in advancing a "significant work-in-progress", such as through travel or study. The award is administered for the New York Community Trust and funded by a bequest from Sonia Raiziss Giop.[44]

Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Awards

Named for Wallace Stevens, the award was established in 1994 by Dorothea Tanning to "recognize outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry". Nominations are not accepted. The winner, who must be an American citizen, is chosen by the AAP Board of Chancellors and receives $100,000.[43]

Wallace Stevens Award

Established in 1976, the Landon Translation award is given in recognition for a published translation of poetry that is at least 40 pages in length and ran for more than 500 copies. It was initially awarded biannually until 1987 when it became an annual award. The winner received a $1,000 cash prize.[42]

Harold Morton Landon Translation Award

The award was established in 1975. In a New York Times opinion piece from 1985, the novelist John Barth noted that 1475 manuscripts had been entered into one of the Whitman Award competitions, which exceeded the number of subscribers to some poetry journals.[39] Since 1992, Louisiana State University Press has published each volume as part of its "Walt Whitman Award Series";[40] the Academy purchases and distributes copies to its members, along with copies of the winning volume for the James Laughlin Award.[41]

Named after poet Walt Whitman, the award is based on a competition of book-length poetry manuscripts by American poets who have not yet published a book.[34] It has been described as "a transformative honor that includes publication and distribution of the book though the Academy, $5,000 in cash and a residency at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation."[35][36] The Library of Congress includes the Award among distinctions noted for poets,[37] as does The New York Times, which also occasionally publishes articles about new awards.[38]

Walt Whitman Award

The Academy of American Poets currently announces three judges for each year's competition in advance.[27] There has been some criticism of the Academy's procedures for mitigating the judges' conflicts of interest, since the judges are often acquainted with some of the poets whose volumes are nominated.[32][33]

The Prize was initially administered by the Saturday Review magazine.[30] Following the folding of Saturday Review, the Prize was administered by The Nation magazine.[31] In 1995, administration of the Prize became the responsibility of the Academy of American Poets; the Prize has a permanent endowment, and the cash value of the prize is currently $25,000.

The Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize is awarded annually for the best volume of poetry written by a living U.S. citizen and published in the previous year in the United States.[27] The Prize was created in 1975 by the New Hope Foundation of Pennsylvania, which was a philanthropic foundation created by Lenore Marshall and her husband, James Marshall, to "support the arts and the cause of world peace";[28] Lenore Marshall, a poet, novelist, editor, and peace activist, had died in 1971.[29]

Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize

Several of the Award's recipients have subsequently won the highest honors given to mature poets. Donald Hall was named Poet Laureate of the United States in 2004. Donald Justice, Lisel Mueller, Philip Schultz, and Tracy K. Smith have each won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

... perhaps it is just as well that I didn't succeed in getting a publisher earlier, since, with new poems being added all the time, the manuscript kept getting stronger. But years of rejection took their toll, and when I won the Lamont Award in 1962, I kept repeating "I will not be consoled." But I was. My life changed considerably. For one thing, I could make a living - I gave poetry readings around the country, wrote narrations for a couple of documentary films, translated a book of Eskimo poems, and, yes, even taught poetry workshops for a while.
— Edward Field

Edward Field has described the importance of receiving the Award to his career as follows:[26]

In 1995, it was endowed by a gift from the Drue Heinz Trust, and it was renamed to honor James Laughlin, who founded the publishing house New Directions in 1936.[20] At present, winners receive a cash prize of $5,000 and the Academy of American Poets purchases about 3000 volumes of the winning book for distribution to its membership;[20][24] the purchase and distribution essentially guarantee that the book becomes "a bestseller in the tiny poetry market."[25]

The award was first established in 1954 by a bequest from the wife of Peter Davison welcomed the change, suggesting that publishing a second volume was becoming more difficult than publishing the first.[23]

Formerly known as the Lamont Poetry Selection, the Laughlin Award is given in recognition of a poet's second published book, and is considered to be the only major award honoring the publication of a poet's second book.[19][20]

James Laughlin Award

One Academy of American Poets Fellowship is awarded annually for "distinguished poetic achievement": Fellows are awarded a stipend which is presently $25,000.[18] The Fellowship program was created in 1946, and was the first of the organization's current portfolio of awards; the Academy's website describes it as "the first of its kind in the United States."[18]

Academy of American Poets Fellowship

Awards are listed in chronological order of their creation.

Awards given by the Academy of American Poets

Elizabeth Kray was hired in 1963 as the first executive director of the Academy of American Poets, and she served the organization until 1981.[10][16] In 2012, poet and nonprofit administrator Jennifer Benka was named executive director of the Academy of American Poets.[17]

In 1998, Fred Viebahn, husband of African-American poet Rita Dove, drew media attention to the lack of diversity on the Academy's Board of Chancellors; up until then, no poet of color had ever been elected to be a Chancellor, and only very few women.[14] Subsequently two female Chancellors, Maxine Kumin and Carolyn Kizer, resigned in protest.[6] The Academy responded by instituting major changes and designating several new chancellors, including African-American poets Lucille Clifton and Yusef Komunyakaa.[15]

The Academy of American Poets administers several programs: National Poetry Month;[12] the website, which includes a curated collection of poems and essays about poetry, over 800 recordings and videos of poets dating back to the 1960s, and free materials for K-12 teachers, including lesson plans;[13] the syndicated series, Poem-a-Day;[1] and American Poets magazine. The organization also awards seven major prizes for poets, as well as 200 college awards sponsored at schools across the country.

As of 2015, the fifteen Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets are: Elizabeth Alexander, Toi Derricotte, Mark Doty, Linda Gregerson, Juan Felipe Herrera, Jane Hirshfield, Khlaed Mattawa, Marilyn Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, Alicia Ostriker, Claudia Rankine, Alberto Rios, Arthur Sze, Anne Waldman, and C.D. Wright. [11]

Since its earliest days, the Academy of American Poets has been guided by an honorary Board of Chancellors composed of established and award-winning poets who serve as advisors to the organization and judge its largest prizes for poets. Past Chancellors include W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, Lucille Clifton, Robert Creeley, Marianne Moore, and Mark Strand. Women as well as men were founding poets of the Academy; for example, Florence Hamilton.[10]

[9] The Academy of American Poets was created in 1934 in



  • History 1
  • Awards given by the Academy of American Poets 2
    • Academy of American Poets Fellowship 2.1
    • James Laughlin Award 2.2
    • Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize 2.3
    • Walt Whitman Award 2.4
    • Harold Morton Landon Translation Award 2.5
    • Wallace Stevens Award 2.6
    • Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Awards 2.7
    • Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank Most Promising Young Poet Award 2.8
    • University and college poetry prizes 2.9
    • Past awards 2.10
  • References 3
  • External links 4

In 1984, [7]

In addition, it sponsors a portfolio of seven major poetry awards, of which the first was a fellowship created in 1946 to support a poet and honor "distinguished achievement," and more than 200 prizes for student poets. [3] readings and events, and poetry resources for K-12 educators.[2] magazine,American Poets [1]

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