Ashland University MFA Faculty Member Wins Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award

Ashland University MFA Faculty Member Wins Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award

2/26/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – Angie Estes, an Ashland University faculty member in the low residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, has won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for best book of poems published in the previous year.

“That is fantastic news for Angie and Ashland University,” said AU Interim Provost Dr. Douglas Fiore.  “This speaks not only to Angie Estes's work, but to the quality of our entire MFA program.”

Dr. Stephen Haven, director of AU’s MFA program, agreed. “This is a huge achievement for Angie – it is the biggest cash prize in the U.S. for a book of poems -- and a reflection of the type of writers we have hired for the MFA faculty here at Ashland University,” Haven said.

“Our faculty members in both poetry and nonfiction have won major national prizes, and we just hired equally talented and accomplished fiction writers for the faculty, one of whom -- Celeste Ng – just had her 2014 novel selected by Amazon editors as a Best Book of the Year, one of 20 books on that list,” Haven noted.

Estes, who won the award for her book “Enchantée” (Oberlin College Press), will receive her award at a ceremony to be held April 16 at Rose Hills Theatre in Smith Campus Center on the Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, Calif.

“The unprecedented number of submissions this year represents a wide range of poetic voices and visions,” said Wendy Martin, director of the Tufts Poetry Awards and professor of American literature at CGU. “The competition was fierce, and the selection of the winning books was especially challenging. This gives us great confidence that contemporary American poetry is vital and thriving.”

The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, which is offered through the Claremont Graduate University, is among the world’s most generous and distinguished prizes for books of poetry. The award is given annually for a book by a poet who is past the very beginning but has not yet reached the pinnacle of his or her career. The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, now in its 23rd year, was established at Claremont Graduate University by Kate Tufts to honor the memory of her husband, who held executive positions in the Los Angeles Shipyards and wrote poetry as his avocation.

Estes is the author of five books, most recently “Enchantée” (Oberlin College Press, 2013) and “Tryst” (Oberlin College Press, 2009), which was selected as one of two finalists for the 2010 Pulitizer Prize. Her previous book, “Chez Nous,” also from Oberlin, appeared in 2005. Her second book, “Voice-Over” (Oberlin College Press, 2002) won the 2001 FIELD Poetry Prize and also was awarded the 2001 Alice Fay di Castagnola Prize from the Poetry Society of America. Her first book, “The Uses of Passion” (1995), was the winner of the Peregrine Smith Poetry Prize.

The recipient of many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize and the Cecil Hemley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, Estes has received fellowships, grants and residencies from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the American Academy in Rome, the Lannan Foundation, the California Arts Council, the MacDowell Colony and the Ohio Arts Council.

The Ashland MFA program offers degree tracks in poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction, with a cross-genre option available to students interested in more than one genre. The program is characterized both by an insistence on high aesthetic standards for the creation of new literature and by an emphasis on a supportive community of writers. 

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###