good news

December 31, 2017

In a year-end/year-start bit of good news, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts has announced a $1 million endowment gift from artists Ellsworth Kelly (1923-2015) and Jack Shear to establish an annual $40,000 C.D. WRIGHT AWARD FOR POETRY. The award will be made each year to a poet over the age of 50 whose work exemplifies Wright’s vibrant lyricism, seriousness, and striking originality. It will be one of the few, significant unrestricted poetry awards in the country. The inaugural C.D. Wright Award will be made to experimental poet LISA ROBERTSON.

Confidential nominations are accepted from invited artists and arts professionals once a year. In the field of poetry, two established poets, poetry editors, or poetry professors are asked to review nomination materials for each poetry nominee, confer, and make a joint recommendation to the Selection Committee, which is comprised of artists, arts professionals, and FCA’s Board of Directors.

C.D. Wright was herself a recipient of a Grants to Artists award in 1999. She passed away in 2016 at the age of 67. Wright was a selfless champion of the poetry community. She was a tireless teacher and supporter of young poets as the I.J. Kapstein Professor of Literary Arts at Brown University from 1983 until her death. With her husband, the poet Forrest Gander, she founded and ran Lost Roads Publishers, a book press of some 45 titles. In addition to celebrating the spirit of her own work, the C.D. Wright Award for Poetry will also continue Wright’s deep commitment to supporting her peers.

Happy New Year!

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