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Two English Alums and English Professor Both Finalists for 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award

Paisley Rekdal, Professor of English, is a finalist for the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for her book Imaginary Vessels (Copper Canyon Press, 2016). Rekdal is the creator and editor of the community web project Mapping Salt Lake City, and was named Utah’s Poet Laureate in May 2017. English PhD alum, Ishion Hutchinson, is also a finalist for his book House of Lords and Commons (FSG, 2017). Kathy Fagan, also a PhD alum, is a finalist for her book Sycamore (milkweed).

The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is given annually for a book by a poet in mid-career. This award is given along with the Kate Tufts Discovery Award for a first book by a poet of genuine promise. The Tufts poetry awards – based at Claremont Graduate University and given for poetry volumes published in the preceding year – are not only two of the most prestigious prizes a contemporary poet can receive, they also come with 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.

Unlike many literary awards, which are coronations for a successful career or body of work, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award was created to both honor the poet and provide the resources that allow artists to continue working towards the pinnacle of their craft. “Because the award comes to you at mid-career, and is supposed to be a stepping stone and not a tombstone, it nerves you up to try to write up to the mark already set by the previous winners,” said Tom Sleigh, the 2008 recipient.

Winners will be announced in February 2018. For more information about the awards, visit

Last Updated: 6/1/21