The Poetry Society of America is honored to announce that Charles Simic is the 2011 recipient of the organization's highest award, the Frost Medal, presented annually for "lifetime achievement in poetry." Previous winners of this award include Wallace Stevens, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, Marianne Moore, and Lucille Clifton, who was the 2010 Centennial recipient.
Simic, a Pulitzer Prize winning poet, has published over 60 collections of poetry, translations, and essays. He has received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and his awards include the Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Griffin International Poetry Prize, and the PEN Translation Prize. "I could not be more delighted that one of our country's most accomplished, prolific, and engaging poets will receive our highest award in our 101st year," said PSA Board President Ruth Kaplan.
The 2011 Annual Awards ceremony, which will celebrate all the winners of the 14 annual PSA awards, will take place on Tuesday, April 19th at 7pm at the National Arts Club in New York City. In keeping with tradition, after the presentation of the Medal, Charles Simic will deliver the Frost Lecture. Admission is free.
Charles Simic is a Pulitzer Prize winning poet, translator, and educator, who emigrated from Yugoslavia to the United States in 1954. His debut collection, What the Grass Says, was published in 1967, and he has since published more than 60 collections of poetry, translations, and essays. His poems have appeared in over 100 literary journals and magazines, and his full-length collections include White (1972); Unending Blues (1986); The World Doesn't End (1989), for which he won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; Hotel Insomnia (1992); and Walking the Black Cat (1996), which was a finalist for the National Book Award. His collection, Jackstraws (1999), was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and his Selected Poems: 1963-2003 won the Griffin International Poetry Award. In 2007, Simic was appointed to the position of U.S. Poet Laureate. His other honors and awards include a MacArthur Genius Grant, fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the 2007 Wallace Stevens Award. He has also received the Edgar Allan Poe Award and the PEN Translation Prize, and he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2000. A life-long educator, Simic has held positions at Boston University, Columbia University, New York University, and the University of New Hampshire, where he currently serves as Professor Emeritus.
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About the Award and The Poetry Society of America:
The Robert Frost Medal is given by the Poetry Society of America to honor "distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry." Early recipients of this award, inaugurated in 1930 and originally called the Gold Medal, include Robert Frost, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Wallace Stevens, and Marianne Moore. In 1984, to honor Robert Frost's longstanding association with the organization, including his tenure as Honorary President from 1940-1963, the award was renamed and subsequent winners include Gwendolyn Brooks, Denise Levertov, Donald Hall, Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, Sonia Sanchez, Barbara Guest, Michael S. Harper, and most recently Lucille Clifton in 2010.
The Poetry Society of America, the nation's oldest poetry organization, was founded in 1910 for the purpose of creating a public forum for the advancement, enjoyment, and understanding of poetry. Through a diverse array of programs, initiatives, contests, and awards, the PSA works to build a larger audience for poetry, to encourage a deeper appreciation of the art, and to place poetry at the crossroads of American life.