Awarded annually at the discretion of the PSA's Board of Governors for distinguished lifetime achievement in American poetry. Since 1995, the recipient of the Frost Medal has delivered the Frost Medal Lecture, a retrospective reading and talk that is the highlight of the Annual Awards Ceremony.
Robert Frost, Edgar Lee Masters, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Marianne Moore, and Wallace Stevens have all been honored by the Poetry Society of America with this Award.
The Frost Medal has recently been awarded to Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael Harper, Anthony Hecht, John Hollander, Richard Howard, X. J. Kennedy, Galway Kinnell, Maxine Kumin, Marie Ponsot, and Sonia Sanchez.
The prize ($2,500) is provided for by a contribution from the late Jack Stadler, PSA Treasurer Emeritus.
Established by the will of the late Mary P. Sears in 1929 and given by nomination only, the Shelley Memorial Award is awarded to a living American poet, selected with reference to his or her genius and need, by a jury of three poets—one appointed by the President of Radcliffe, one by the president of the University of California at Berkeley, and one by the PSA Board of Governors.
The prize is between $6,000 and $9,000
Recent winners of this award have included Kimiko Hahn, Lyn Hejinian, Angela Jackson, Yusef Komunyakaa, James McMichael, Alice Notley, Ron Padgett, Ed Roberson, George Stanley, and Gary Young.