Frost & Shelley Awards

Frost Medal Lectures

2012 Frost Medalist Marilyn Nelson

My first thought, when got the shocking and delightful news of my receiving the Frost Medal, was to wonder if someone had gotten their Marilyns mixed up. They must mean Marilyn Hacker, I thought: she really deserves it. As the news sank in I thought of other poets equally deserving. Then I thought about how my mother would say this puts me together with Tracy K. Smith, Nikky Finney, Terrance Hayes, Natasha Trethewey, Rita Dove, Yusef Komunyakaa, Dwayne Betts, and Wanda Coleman as evincing a new force in African American poetry. It was only after I'd read the list of Frost Medalists on the Poetry Society's website that I felt the humbling honor of having being granted such recognition during my lifetime. 

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2006 Frost Medalist Maxine Kumin

Maxine Kumin writes, "And long before that, when I was an undergraduate at Radcliffe in the 40s, I had the great good fortune to hear Frost read on two occasions to overflow crowds in Sever Hall, one of Harvard's largest classrooms. Students wedged themselves into the window wells and stood along the sides and back of the room as the wise old trouper indulged everyone by reciting his crowd-pleasing favorites: 'Stopping by Woods,' 'Acquainted with the Night,' 'Provide, Provide,' and 'Birches.'"

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2005 Frost Medalist Marie Ponsot

Introduced by Mary Gordon, Marie Ponsot's starts her Frost Lecture with the provocative statement: "We begin making poems as babbling infants, and that's a first reason to claim poetry as primitive. Inspired and perhaps hard-wired, infants babble. Poetry begins as babble."

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2004 Frost Medalist Richard Howard

Introduced by Edward Hirsch, Richard Howard's Frost  Lecture explores Robert Frost as a teacher.

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2003 Frost Medalist Lawrence Ferlinghetti

What is Poetry?: A Non-Lecture

Rough Draft of an ARS POETICA

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2001 Frost Medalist Sonia Sanchez

Sonia Sanchez's lecture traces her own experience with poetry, from childhood to college, and beyond. She was introduced by the novelists Chinua Achebe and Toni Morrison.

 

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2000 Frost Medalist Anthony Hecht

Anthony Hecht's lecture on the poetry of Robert Frost, focusing in particular on the poem "The Wood Pile".

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1999 Frost Medalist Barbara Guest

Barbara Guest writes, "When I was a young poet, I was immensely influenced, as you know, by painters with whom I circulated. Their ideas of painting took up my young life. I envied their freedom. I began to use some of their methods. Often titles arrived after the poem was finished, as O'Hara illustrates so humorously in his poem, 'Sardines.'"

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