~*SPD Poet Carmen Giménez Smith Wins 2020 Academy of American Poets Fellowship*~

SPD is exceptionally proud to announce that poet, longtime supporter, and exceptional literary citizen, Carmen Giménez Smith, has won the 2020 Academy of American Poets Fellowship. 

Established in 1936 and given in memory of James Ingram Merrill, with generous support from the T. S. Eliot Foundation, this prize recognizes distinguished poetic achievement and carries with it a stipend of $25,000 and a residency at the Eliot summer home in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Fellows are nominated and elected by a majority vote of the Academy’s Board of Chancellors. Past recipients include Gwendolyn BrooksRobert Frost, and Tracy K. Smith.

About Giménez Smith, Academy of American Poets Chancellor Brenda Hillman said: “The work of Carmen Giménez Smith is a marriage between a comet and a meteor. Her poetry makes a distant and profound orbit— with materials received from folklore and myth, from surrealism and historical document, from popular culture and canonical women’s voices— but it also seems to be arriving in a flash in the night sky for the first time, with a dazzling style of its own. In her many collections, Giménez Smith has gathered strength and light from a still-unfolding innovative women’s tradition, drawing on deeply felt lyric, polyphonic wordplay, cultural references, and visual effects. She writes full-heartedly as a mother, as a Latinx daughter of immigrants, as a cultural critic; she writes in mourning and anger, yet with love and with hope. Whether her voice is disturbing or celebratory, ironic or songlike as she chronicles the lives of family oppressed by labor or duty or puzzles over dilemmas of motherhood during historical crisis, Giménez Smith writes with inventive wisdom rooted in personal experience: ‘Necessity is the mother of all that pours out of me,’ she writes. The beauty of her myriad forms demonstrates the universal power of art.”

Cruel Futures
(City Lights Publishers, 2018)
By Carmen Giménez Smith

"Carmen Giménez Smith's beautiful book, CRUEL FUTURES is one of those rare books, rare pieces of art, that manages to be extremely intimate, vulnerable and close while also doing a kind of searing cultural critique. The poems can be tender or ironic, and sometimes a blending of the two, which is not easy, but occasionally yields lines like these, from the amazing and amazingly titled poem 'Ravers Having Babies': 'So much to do so little skin / left for transformation...' Somehow those lines for me get at the remarkable humanity in this book, the remarkable wisdom, which is ravenous, sorrowful, and dreaming. Like, probably, you are. Like me."—Ross Gay 

Learn more about the 2020 Academy of American Poet Prizes here
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