The 2019 Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards


(mellow piano music) – I’m very happy about the
writers who won this year. I’m very very excited about their work. And I’m very excited to
be part of that process. – I think you sort of get to live in the world of these books in ways that give you
a deeper appreciation for the variety of poetry. – There are many different
versions of poetry as there are poets in America, you know. And there’s just a way
to deal with being alive, with being human, with
trying to put it in words, trying to make something,
trying to express something, and what could be better than that? (upbeat orchestral music) – This work was praised
by our panel of judges with the vibrant, sharp, and gorgeous poems the book includes. – I wanna let you know
that we are so proud to be giving this prize to this book. It is an extraordinary book and each of us felt that way
very, very, very profoundly. It is powerfully moving. It is brilliant, its is
intelligent, is is hard won, it is aesthetically exacting. Every decision you made in composing this book was the right one. And we couldn’t be happier to
be part of its achievement, part of its history. And to be bringing some attention to it. We hope, we know that this book will be read by many and
for a long time to come. (group applauds) – We have a chance to make an impact on not just the poets who win, but like the culture surrounding poetry and literature overall. – Winning the prize? It had a tremendous impact on my career. I know that it brought my book to people who wouldn’t have received it. I know that it brought
an extra layer and level and kind of attention to the book. – It’s my distinct honor to let you know that you have won the Kingsley
Tufts Award in Poetry. As you know with a $100,000
prize, congratulations. (group cheers) – [Poet] Oh wow! Oh my gosh!
(group laughs) – Out judges praise this poet for her uncompromising poetics of resistance and exactitude. – The book is very well curated. The book is just an
encounter like very few that we’ve had during this judging season. And we’re very proud to be
able to give it this prize. We’re very proud to be
associated with this book. And we are glad to be part
of the tremendous attention that we know it’s going to receive and that it certainly does deserve. – I hope poetry will continue
to thrive in communities. And I think that poetry
is intrinsically connected to that kind of culture
where there is an importance in passing down stories and
passing down various narratives that are personal and emotional. – Poetry’s always been alive. It’s just sort of these
undulations of attention. So the future is quit exciting for poetry. (orchestral music fades)

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