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Kimiko Hahn wins $100,000 award from Poetry Foundation for lifetime achievement

September 7, 2023 Associated Press
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Cornelius Eady, Toi Derricotte and Kimiko Hahn are among this year’s winners of awards from the Poetry Foundation, which announced some of the poetry world’s most lucrative prizes.

Hahn, a faculty member of Queens College in New York City whose books include “The Unbearable Heart” and “Earshot,” won the $100,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for lifetime achievement. Lilly was an heir to pharmaceutical tycoon Eli Lilly who in 2002 bequeathed $100 million to Poetry magazine. The Poetry Foundation was established the following year.

“Kimiko Hahn’s poetry projects the soul and challenges the human spirit by inviting readers to explore the mysteries of science and nature,“ Poetry Foundation President Michelle T. Boone said in a statement Thursday. “It’s our privilege to acknowledge her decades of advancing poetry through her writing and teaching.”

The foundation also announced that Derricotte and Eady had won its inaugural Pegasus Award for Service in Poetry, a $25,000 honor. Derricotte and Eady were cited for their leadership of Cave Canem, an organization which supports Black poets through a wide range of programs.

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“The impact of Toi and Cornelius’s work as mentors, collaborators, and advocates cannot be overstated,” Poetry magazine editor Adrian Matejka said in a statement. “As a Cave Canem fellow myself, I have been the grateful recipient of their service to poetry and the path they’ve created for countless other Black poets.”

Douglas Kearney’s “Optic Subwoof” won the $10,000 Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism.


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