Claremont Graduate University's Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards

CGU's $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award & $10,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award are given for books published the preceding year. July 1 annual deadline. A.

The Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry awards – based at Claremont Graduate University – are not only two of the most prestigious prizes a contemporary poet can receive, they also come with hefty purses: $100,000 for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and $10,000 for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. This makes the Kingsley Tufts award the world’s largest monetary prize for a single collection of poetry. And

Operating as usual

Timeline photos 04/08/2022

2021: Celebrating the 28th Kate Tufts Poetry Winner: Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers by Jake Skeets. “becoming a man / means knowing how to become charcoal // staccato of ash / holding a match to their skin // trying not to light themselves on fire” (p.20) https://jakeskeets.com/

Timeline photos 04/08/2022

2021: Celebrating the 29th Kingsley Tufts Poetry Winner: Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry by John Murillo “Learn to lose as if / your life depended on it. / Learn that your life depends on it. / Learn it like karate, like riding a bike” (9) https://www.johnmurillo.com/

Timeline photos 04/06/2022

2020: Celebrating the 27th Kate Tufts Poetry Winner: I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood by Tiana Clark. “It rained inside me / it is raining inside my neck / the rain falls in sheets inside long sheets inside” (p.32) http://www.tianaclark.com/

Timeline photos 04/06/2022

2020: Celebrating the 28th Kingsley Tufts Poetry Winner: A Sandbook by Ariana Reines “after the rain hit / the creosote the sun / hit it & a fragrance / wild & sweet was hitting / me, a springtime / sensation of rising seed” (81) https://www.arianareines.net/about

Timeline photos 04/04/2022

2019: Celebrating the 26th Kate Tufts Poetry Winner: Ghost Of by Diana Khoi Nguyen. “These are the tiles from his mother’s house, cool / against my cheek. I talk to him in one tongue, / he answers from the morgue.” (p.22) https://dianakhoinguyen.com/

Timeline photos 04/04/2022

2019: Celebrating the 27th Kingsley Tufts Poetry Winner: Good Stock Strange Blood by Dawn Lundy Martin “But there is no escape. The material is always the same. Yet, it is / malleable. To mutate is to live” (99) http://www.dawnlundymartin.com/about/

Timeline photos 04/01/2022

2018: Celebrating the 25th Kate Tufts Poetry Winner: Bestiary by Donika Kelly. “I know him / by his hands. But how am I child? / And this wall against my back, how long / has it been a wall?” (p.19) https://www.donikakelly.com/

Timeline photos 04/01/2022

2018: Celebrating the 26th Kingsley Tufts Poetry Winner: Incendiary Art by Patricia Smith “You can name yourself a man, walk taut and tall and will your voice / to stomp, but still be upended by demons, ain’t that something?” (31) http://www.wordwoman.ws/

Timeline photos 03/30/2022

2017: Celebrating the 24th Kate Tufts Poetry Winner: Thief in the Interior by Phillip B. Williams. “I was told to believe in and became that / single vessel beneath which water I would never taste / moved. I was shut tight. I was going somewhere / and quickly. // Little boat. // Little boat made smaller by distance.” (p1) https://www.phillipbwilliams.com/

Timeline photos 03/30/2022

2017: Celebrating the 25th Kingsley Tufts Poetry Winner: Forest Primeval by Vievee Francis. “Like the memory of a monarch landing / in the palm of the hand the summer’s end / contains no promise so its moment is held only briefly” (p. 41) http://ow.ly/TMWC50IwoTI

Timeline photos 03/25/2022

2016: Celebrating the 23rd Kate Tufts Poetry Winner: [Insert] Boy by Danez Smith. "I hear music rise off your skin. Each hair on your arm a tiny viola. / A wind full of bows blows & all I hear is the brown // hum of your flesh, a symphony of pigment too often drowned out / by the gun songs & sirens. Don't listen to that music." (p.109) http://http://ow.ly/fC8L50IrMvy/bio-encore

Timeline photos 03/25/2022

2016: Celebrating the 24th Kingsley Tufts Poetry Winner: Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay. “A man sings / by opening his / mouth a man / sings by opening / his lungs by / turning himself into air / a flute can / be made of a man” www.rossgay.net/about

Timeline photos 03/23/2022

2015: Celebrating the twenty-third Kingsley Tufts Poetry Winner: Enchantée by Angie Estes. “The heart doesn’t need suspenders, like the kites / flown by those who gathered at the end / of the Ile de la Cité to pull down / and back on invisible strings” (p.30) http://www.angieestes.com/

Timeline photos 03/23/2022

2015: Celebrating the 22nd Kate Tufts Poetry Winner: The Tribute Horse by Brandon Som. "They say in certain shells / You still hear the sea. / What urgency is there still / Left in such long distant / Phone calls in which the past / Is in our hands" http://ow.ly/tWsf50IoFm9

Timeline photos 03/21/2022

2014: Celebrating the twenty-first Kate Tufts Poetry Winner: Hemming the Water by Yona Harvey. "Someone had / penciled your skirt, someone had lengthened your legs, / someone had softened your bangs. & someone had drawn / a mic & a door with a stage light peering through. (p.51) https://www.yonaharvey.com/

Timeline photos 03/21/2022

2014: Celebrating the twenty-second Kingsley Tufts Poetry Winner: The Government of Nature by Afaa Michael Weaver. ”The lines that make you are infinite, but I count them / every day to hear the stories you carry” (p.10) https://www.magichorses.org/index.html

Timeline photos 03/18/2022

2013: Celebrating the 20th Kate Tufts Poetry Winner: Fowling Piece by Heidy Steidlmayer. ”Midnight, the knives throw / shadows with showy precision / through my hesitant silhouette.” (p.11) http://ow.ly/Fk4Q50InaXz

Timeline photos 03/18/2022

2013: Celebrating the 21st Kingsley Tufts Poetry Winner: The Book of Hours by Marianne Boruch. ”On rain-washed paper dried, ink / still blurs. But all words / are stains. The paper’s rippled / lunar, mountain and crater” (p.24) http://ow.ly/QRbq50Inaj7

Timeline photos 03/16/2022

2012: Celebrating the nineteenth Kate Tufts Poetry Winner: Radial Symmetry by Katherine Larson. “We talk of small things. / How the mosque and the half moon / stand sentinel / against the bloody sky. That mangoes / will be in season soon.” (p.29) http://ow.ly/KAGz50Ik5ju

Timeline photos 03/16/2022

2012: Celebrating the twentieth Kingsley Tufts Poetry Winner: The Cloud Corporation by Timothy Donnelly. “Where would I be without you, massive shadow / dressed in numbers, when without you there / behind me, I wouldn’t be myself” (p.7) http://ow.ly/JTab50Ik5AP

Timeline photos 03/15/2022

2011: Celebrating the nineteeth Kingsley Tufts Poetry Winner: Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been by Chase Twichell. “A door blew open, and a black river / flowed into the house. It was my river, / invisible except to me. At night” (p.223) https://poets.org/poet/chase-twichell

Timeline photos 03/15/2022

2011: Celebrating the eighteenth Kate Tufts Poetry Winner: Romey’s Order by Atsuro Riley. “There was the trestle that carried the train that trusted the trestle that bridged / the river that cooled the fish that fed the boy that watched the trestle that / slow-cankered and -rusted and fell.” (p.13) https://atsuroriley.org/

Timeline photos 03/14/2022

2010: Celebrating the seventeenth Kate Tufts Poetry Winner: Temper by Beth Bachmann. “When we look up here, we do not see Orion; / we see a silhouette shot full of holes.” (p.34) http://www.bethbachmann.com/

Timeline photos 03/14/2022

2010: Celebrating the eighteenth Kingsley Tufts Poetry Winner: Chronic by D.A. Powell. “I knew how it felt to lie in a patch of marigolds: golden stains / the way morning swarmed a hidden rooftop, the catbirds singing” (p.19) http://ow.ly/13fp50Ijbg9

Timeline photos 03/10/2022

2009: Celebrating the seventeenth Kingsley Tufts Poetry Winner: Modern Life by Matthea Harvey. “You’re. Not. Breathing. Let’s see: memories. / I remember the rocking chair that was always / in the repair shop for liking to rock backward / but not forward.” (p.70) http://www.mattheaharvey.info/

Timeline photos 03/09/2022

2009: Celebrating the 16th Kate Tufts Poetry Winner: All-American Poem by Matthew Dickman. “It’s what I imagine astronauts are listening to / inside their helmets / while they watch a new planet begin to spin, / and then another and another like notes from a cello” (p.13) http://ow.ly/CPpb50IfySS

Timeline photos 03/07/2022

2008: Celebrating the sixteenth Kingsley Tufts Poetry Winner: Space Walk by Tom Sleigh. “The mouth was open and we stared into it— / what could we do about it, how could we stop staring?” (p.17) https://poets.org/poet/tom-sleigh

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Our Story

Any poet will tell you that the only thing rarer than meaningful recognition is a meaningful payday. For two outstanding poets each year, the Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards represent both.

The Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards – based at Claremont Graduate University in southern California – are not only two of the most prestigious prizes a contemporary poet can receive, they also come with hefty purses: $100,000 for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and $10,000 for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. This makes the Kingsley Tufts award the world’s largest monetary prize for a single collection of poetry. And for most poets who have just published their first collection of verse, $10,000 should keep the pen scribbling. For over 25 years, the Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards have been supporting poets and poetry.

Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award winners:
2019: Dawn Lundy Martin, Good Stock Strange Blood
2018: Patricia Smith, Incendiary Art 2017: Vievee Francis, Forest Primeval
2016: Ross Gay, catalog of unabashed gratitude
2015: Angie Estes, Enchantée
2014: Afaa Michael Weaver, The Government of Nature
2013: Marianne Boruch, The Book of Hours
2012: Timothy Donnelly, The Cloud Corporation
2011: Chase Twichell, Horses Where Answers Should Have Been
2010: D. A. Powell, Chronic
2009: Matthea Harvey, Modern Life
2008: Tom Sleigh, Space Walk
2007: Rodney Jones, Salvation Blues
2006: Lucia Perillo, Luck Is Luck
2005: Michael Ryan, New and Selected Poems
2004: Henri Cole, Middle Earth
2003: Linda Gregerson, Waterborne
2002: Carl Phillips, The Tether
2001: Alan Shapiro, The Dead Alive and Busy
2000: Robert Wrigley, Reign of Snakes
1999: B.H. Fairchild, The Art of the Lathe
1998: John Koethe, Falling Water
1997: Campbell McGrath, Spring Comes to Chicago
1996: Deborah Digges, Rough Music
1995: Thomas Lux, Split Horizon
1994: Yusef Komunyakaa, Neon Vernacular
1993: Susan Mitchell, Rapture

Kate Tufts Discovery Award winners:
2019: Diana Khoi Nguyen, Ghost Of
2018: Donika Kelly, Bestiary 2017: Phillip B. Williams, Thief in the Interior
2016: Danez Smith, [insert] boy
2015: Brandon Som, The Tribute Horse
2014: Yona Harvey, Hemming the Water
2013: Heidy Steidlmayer, Fowling Piece
2012: Katherine Larson, Radial Symmetry
2011: Atsuro Riley, Romey's Order
2010: Beth Bachmann, Temper
2009: Matthew Dickman, All-American Poem
2008: Janice N. Harrington, Even the Hollow My Body Made is Gone
2007: Eric McHenry, Potscrubber Lullabies
2006: Christian Hawkey, The Book of Funnels
2005: Patrick Phillips, Chattahoochee
2004: Adrian Blevins, The Brass Girl Brouhaha
2003: Joanie Mackowski, The Zoo
2002: Cate Marvin, World's Tallest Disaster
2001: Jennifer Clarvoe, Invisible Tender
2000: Terrance Hayes, Muscular Music
1999: Barbara Ras, Bite Every Sorrow
1998: Charles Harper Webb, Reading the Water
1997: Lucia Perillo, The Body Mutinies
1996: Barbara Hamby, Delirium
1995: Doug Anderson, The Moon Reflected Fire
1994: Catherine Bowman, 1-800-HOT-RIBS

Videos (show all)

But What About the Birds? A Conversation with Genevieve Kaplan
Poets at Work: A conversation with Prageeta Sharma
In the Poetry Library with Patricia Smith
In the Poetry Library with Marianne Boruch
In the Poetry Library with John Koethe
In the Poetry Library with Katherine Larson
In the Poetry Library with Phillip B. Williams
In the Poetry Library with Vievee Francis
2017 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Awards notification

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Claremont, CA
91711

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