Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry
The biennial, privately funded $10,000 prize recognizes the most distinguished book of poetry written by an American and published during the preceding two years. The prize is donated by the family of the late Mrs. Bobbitt of Austin, Tex., in her memory, and established at the Library of Congress. The most recent winner of the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry is Patricia Smith for her book Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah.
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Witter Bynner Fellowships
The Witter Bynner fellowship is awarded annually to two or more poets to be chosen by the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry in conjunction with the Library. The fellowships support poetry on both a national and local level: the fellows are recognized at a reading in the nation’s capitol and go on to organize a local poetry reading in their own communities.
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The Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry was established in 1972 in Santa Fe, New Mexico where Harold Witter Bynner lived and worked for forty years of his life. The founding Board of Directors created mission guidelines that included the support of poets, a general statement that provided considerable latitude for interpretation. Among the early projects initiated by the Foundation was a five-volume set of the selected Witter Bynner published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux that included, Selected Poems, Light Verse and Satire, The Chinese Translations, Selected Letters and Prose Pieces. James Kraft was the Editor and wrote an introduction to the volumes, which were an appropriate beginning and a fine tribute to Harold Witter Bynner who, in addition to being a prolific poet, had the foresight to make provisions for a poetry foundation after his death.
The Foundation has entertained letters of intent and applications from organizations throughout the United States for forty-one years and has supported poets, a broad variety of poetry programming and numerous translations of poetry in collaboration with non-profit organizations in forty-six states. To date, the Foundation has invested four times the original endowment in the support of poetry. In addition to supporting the work of others, the Foundation has conceived and implemented many ideas for the furtherance of poetry in Santa Fe including the Santa Fe Poet Laureate Program with the City of Santa Fe, Art Works Poetry in the Schools with the City and Partners in Education, poet residencies in New Mexico schools, a poetry translator residency with the Santa Fe Art Institute, a new playwright series with the Santa Fe Playhouse and a free, summer Shakespeare festival in one of Santa Fe’s most beautiful City parks.
Learn more about the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry