I am still so deeply honored to be named the 11th Jackson Poetry Prize winner. The first ever recipient was Elizabeth Alexander and I love this picture us at the Museum of Modern Art at a reception that was part of the Jacob Lawrence Migrations Series exhibition. She organized a reading that I was part of with nine other Black American poets for the exhibition. Tyehimba Jess who recently won the Pulitzer Prize this year was another reader that night. We were all thrilled and honored-thanks again to Elizabeth for putting that evening together. And thanks to the Jacksons for creating the Jackson Poetry Prize. It is not only a great honor, but the funds will be extremely helpful.
Here’s the Jackson Poetry Prize announcement from Poets & Writers. I am so grateful to the judges and to whomever nominated me. This is about work, the work I’ve been doing since 1974! Being a poet, at least to me, is a calling that is now a profession. I am wealthy in family and friends, but not in finances. My independence has been both a strength and a challenge. I have walked this path in my own way for a very long time. And I know that I have serious readers and I hope to have more. I thank all of you who have believed in me and who have read my work and challenged me to expand and explore. #gratitude