Angie Estes has won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for her book Enchantee, published by Oberlin College Press (OC Press). The award, presented by Claremont Graduate University and given annually to a mid-career poet, is among the world’s most generous and distinguished prizes for poetry.
Enchantee is the fourth collection of poetry by Estes to be published by OC Press. Her book Voice-Over was the 2001 Field Poetry Prize winner. Her previous book, Tryst (Oberlin, 2009), was selected as one of two finalists for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize.
“As Angie Estes’ publishers, we’re thrilled about the attention the Kingsley Tufts Award will bring to her work,” says Professor of English David Walker, coeditor of OC Press. “Since we selected Voice-Over as the winner of the FIELD Poetry Prize in 2001, we've been fans of her stunningly intelligent and linguistically inventive writing. She's a sort of poets' poet, deeply admired in certain circles, but not terribly well known in the broader literary world.”
Walker says Enchantee is Estes’ strongest work yet. “These are elegant, richly detailed, heartbreakingly beautiful poems. The Tufts Prize is one of the most significant poetry awards in the world, and Angie fully deserves the acclaim. Oberlin College Press is delighted to share in it.”
Estes, the author of five books, serves on the faculty of Ashland University’s low residency MFA program. She has received many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, and the Cecil Hemley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. Unlike many poets, she does not teach full time—a deliberate choice she has made to focus on her work.
Chief Judge Chase Twichell called Estes’ poems a “delicious and magical swirl of cultures and languages, past and present.”
“Since the Kingsley Tufts Award is one of the most important and lucrative prizes a poet can receive, I was delighted to learn—after the fact—that Angie has, over the years, chosen poetry over the security of teaching positions that did not give her sufficient time to work,” Twichell said. “I couldn’t be happier to see the Kingsley Tufts Award go to a person who has lived her life with art as her highest priority, at whatever personal cost.”
The Kingsley Tufts award, now in its 23rd year, was established at Claremont Graduate University by Kate Tufts to honor the memory of her husband, Kingsley Tufts, who held executive positions in the Los Angeles Shipyards and wrote poetry as his avocation. The award is presented to a poet who is past the very beginning but has not yet reached the pinnacle of their career.
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