Poet Marilyn Nelson Wins $100,000 Lifetime Achievement Award

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NEW YORK — Marilyn Nelson has won the $100,000 Wallace Stevens Prize, a lifetime achievement honor presented by the Academy of American Poets for her “proven mastery in the art of poetry “.

“For decades, Marilyn Nelson has written insightful, moving and clear poetry, brimming with history but looking to the future,” Academy Chancellor and fellow poet Kevin Young said in a statement released Monday.

“Whether writing about his father’s generation of Tuskegee airmen, the voice of slaves speaking of freedom, or the woman in the mirror, Nelson’s work is necessary and human, and has opened the way on the page and in the world.”

Nelson, 76, is known for collections such as “The Homeplace” and “Fields of Praise”, while writing children’s books and translating works from Danish and ancient Greek. John Ashbery, Adrienne Rich and Sonia Sanchez are among previous Stevens Award winners.

The academy announced several other awards on Monday, including the $25,000 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for Mai Der Vang’s “Yellow Rain” and the Academy of American Poets Fellowship for Pulitzer Prize winner Jericho Brown, an honor that includes a cash prize of $25,000 and a residency at the TS Eliot House in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Danielle Emerson won a $1,000 prize for outstanding work by a young poet aged 23 or younger, and the academy awarded two other $1,000 prizes: Adriana X Jacobs was cited for her translation of the Hebrew version of “The Truffle Eye” by Vaan Nguyen and Elizabeth Torres for a book-length manuscript originally written in Spanish and translated into English, “La Lotería: Sorteo Nocturno” (“The Lottery: Nocturnal Sweepstakes “). His book will be published by University of Arizona Press.


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