CHICAGO —The Poetry Foundation is proud to announce the winners of the 2022 Pegasus Awards, a series of literary awards that include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Young People’s Poet Laureate and the Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism. The winners will be honored at an awards ceremony in Chicago in October.
In recognition of the 110th anniversary of Poetry magazine, the Poetry Foundation has decided to award 10 additional Ruth Lilly Poetry Prizes this year, resulting in $1,132,500 in prizes to be distributed to the 2022 winners. It is the largest award the foundation has ever given to a cohort of living poets at once.
“We are celebrating 110 years poetry Magazine this year and the Poetry Foundation’s 20th anniversary in 2023. We wanted to do something special to mark these milestones by honoring an outstanding cohort of writers whose work has brought comfort and inspiration to so many.” , said Poetry Foundation President Michelle T Boone. “Poetry shows us the way forward, and there is no poetry without the imagination and talent of those behind the pen.”
Honoring 11 living legends
The Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize is awarded annually to a living US poet with a purse of $100,000 in recognition of outstanding lifetime achievement. It is one of the most prestigious awards for American poets and one of the largest literary awards in the country.
On the occasion of the 110th anniversary of the poetry and in line with the goals announced in its new strategic plan, the Poetry Foundation will award eleven Ruth Lilly Poetry Prizes in 2022. The decision not only commemorates a historic milestone for the Foundation and the magazine, but also celebrates the diversity of backgrounds and styles of poets whose contributions to culture deserve the same recognition that artists in other forms deserve.
The 11 winners of the 2022 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize are:
Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist and essayist whose work explores working-class life. Roman by Cisneros The house on Mango Street has been translated into over 25 languages and is required reading in elementary, secondary and university schools across the country. Her awards include a MacArthur Fellowship, a National Medal of Arts, and a PEN/Nabokov Award for International Literature. Cisnero’s new collection of poems, woman without shameis published by Knopf and Vintage Español in Spanish translation.
CAConrad has been working with the ancient technologies of poetry and ritual since 1975; Her honors include a Lambda Literary Award. As a young poet, she lived in Philadelphia, where she lost many loved ones during the early years of the AIDS crisis, as documented in the essay SIN BUG: AIDS, Poetry, and Queer Resilience in Philadelphia. Conrad is the author of many volumes of poetry, including AMANDA PARADISE: Bring extinct vibrations back to life and As he stands in line for death.
Rita Dove is an author of poetry, fiction, drama, and essays who served as the United States Poet Laureate from 1993 to 1995. Dove’s accolades include an NAACP Image Award, a National Medal of Arts, and a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, among others. Her latest book of poetry Playlist for the apocalypsee, was awarded “Top Book of 2021”. The New York Times. Dove teaches at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, where she is the Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing.
Nicki Giovanni is a poet and author of several nonfiction and children’s books, as well as several recordings, including an Emmy Award nomination The Poetry Collection of Nikki Giovanni. Giovanni’s honors include a Langston Hughes Award for Distinguished Contributions to Arts and Letters, seven NAACP Image Awards, and a Rosa Parks Women of Courage Award. Her recent releases include Let me rain: poems and prose and Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid.
Juan Felipe Herrera is a poet and son of peasants; He was both the United States and California Poet Laureate. Herrera’s accolades include a National Book Critics Circle Award, a Los Angeles Times Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award and a Latino Hall of Fame Award, among others. He is the author of more than 30 books, including the most recent volume of poetry Every day we become more illegal and the translation Acrylic. Juan Felipe Herrera Elementary School is slated to open in Fresno in the fall of 2022.
Angela Jackson is a Chicago poet, playwright, and novelist who currently serves as the Illinois Poet Laureate. Jackson’s honors include a Pushcart Prize and a Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. your poetry collection, All these streets are luminouswas nominated for a National Book Award, and her debut novel where i have to go, won an American Book Award. In addition, Jackson has written four plays: Comfort stew, Witness!, Shango Diaspora: An African American Myth of Femininity and Love.
Haki Madhubuti is a poet, author, publisher and educator. Widely considered one of the architects of the Black Arts movement, Madhubuti is the founder and editor of the Third World Press in Chicago. Madhubuti has published more than 36 books including his most recent collection, Taught by Women: Poetry as the Language of Resistance, New and Selected. His awards include an American Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Prize, and a Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award.
Sharon Olds is the author of 12 volumes of poetry, including ariasnominated for the 2020 Griffin Poetry Prize, and deer jump, winner of a Pulitzer Prize and a TS Eliot Prize. Olds’ other honors include the first San Francisco Poetry Center Award and a National Book Critics Circle Award. She teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University and helped found the NYU workshop program for residents of Coler-Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island.
Sonja Sanchez is a poet, playwright, professor, activist and one of the foremost leaders of the Black Studies movement. Sanchez is the author of over 20 books including morning haiku, Shake my skin looseand you Collected Poems, published in 2021. Her honors include an American Book Award, an Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award, a Langston Hughes Poetry Award, and a Robert Frost Medal, among others; In 2011 she was named Philadelphia’s first Poet Laureate.
Patti Smith was born in Chicago, grew up in South Jersey and moved to New York City in 1967 year of the monkey, dedicationand M train; your new collection, A diary, is coming. Her honors include the 2010 National Book Award for her best-selling memoir only childrena PEN/Audible Literary Service Award; and promotion to Doctor of Humane Letters from Columbia University.
Arthur Sze is a poet, translator and editor; He is the author of 11 poems including The Glass Constellation: New and Collected Poems and lines of sight, which won a National Book Award for Poetry. Sze’s honors include a Shelley Memorial Award, a Jackson Poetry Prize, and a Lannan Literary Award. He was Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2012-2017 and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017. He is Professor Emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Recent recipients of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize include Marilyn Chin, Martín Espada, Joy Harjo, Marilyn Nelson and Patricia Smith.
Elizabeth Acevedo named New Young People’s Poet Laureate
Elizabeth Acevedothe best-selling author of The Poet X, will be Young People’s Poet Laureate in 2022–2024. The award and $25,000 award are presented to a living author in recognition of a career dedicated to writing exceptional poetry for young readers. The awardee’s aim is to inspire poetry among children and their families, teachers and librarians during their two-year tenure.
Acevedo’s second book, With the fire on highwas named “Best Book of the Year” by the New York Public Library, NPR. publishers weeklyand School library journal. Other honors include Boston globe-Horn Book Award, a National Young Adult Book Award and a National Poetry Slam Championship. She will advise the Poetry Foundation on issues of young adult literature.
Recent Young People’s Poet Laureates include Naomi Shihab Nye (whose tenure was extended due to disruptions during the Covid-19 pandemic), Margarita Engle and Jacqueline Woodson.
Kevin Quashie wins the Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism
The Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism annually honors a book-length critical work published in the previous calendar year and includes an award of US$7,500. Kevin Qashie is the 2022 award winner for his book Black liveliness or a poetics of beingdrawing on Black Feminist literary texts, including works by poets Lucille Clifton, Audre Lorde and June Jordan.
Quashie teaches Black Studies and Literature and is a professor in the Department of English Studies at Brown University. His awards include a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and a fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as well as Mentions for Excellence in Teaching from Brown University and Smith College.
The 2022 critics finalists were Anahid Nersessian for Keats’s Odes: A Lover’s Discourse (The University of Chicago Press) and Rachel Zolf for No One’s Witness: A monstrous poetics (Duke University Press).
About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation recognizes the power of words to transform lives. We work to amplify poetry and celebrate poets by creating spaces where all can create, experience and share poetry. Follow the Poetry Foundation on Facebook, Instagramand Twitterand poetry at @PoetryMagazine.