2021 Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Award Winners

2021 Kingsley Tufts Poetry
Award Winner

John Murillo

John MurilloKontemporary Amerikan Poetry (Four Way Books). John Murillo is the author of the poetry collections, Up Jump the Boogie and Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry. His honors include a Pushcart Prize, the J Howard and Barbara MJ Wood Prize from the Poetry Foundation, fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Cave Canem Foundation, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and inclusion in Best American Poetry 2017, 2019, and 2020. He is an assistant professor of English at Wesleyan University and teaches in the low residency MFA program at Sierra Nevada University. He lives in Brooklyn.

2021 Kate Tufts Discovery
Award Winner

Jake Skeets

Jake Skeets, Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers (Milkweed Editions). Jake Skeets is the author of Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers, winner of the National Poetry Series. He is the recipient of a 92Y Discovery Prize, a Mellon Projecting All Voices Fellowship, an American Book Award, and a Whiting Award. He is from the Navajo Nation and teaches at Diné College.


2021 Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Award Finalists

2021 Kingsley Tufts Poetry
Award Finalists

Zaina Alsous, Theory of Birds (University of Arkansas Press): In A Theory of Birds, Alsous engages with the world’s oppressive and divisive forces and “explores how categorization can be a tool for detachment, domination, and erasure.”

Fantasia for the Man in Blue by Tommye Blount (Four Way Books): A black man’s encounter with a police officer (the “man in blue” of the title”) serves as one of the many voices Blount orchestrates to “speak to the experience of the black, queer body as a site of desire and violence.”

Catrachos by Roy G. Guzmán (Graywolf Press): In Catrachos (a nickname for Hondureños), Guzmán “reaches across borders―between life and death and between countries―invoking the voices of the lost” in a volume that is “part immigration narrative, part elegy, and part queer coming-of-age story.”

Bodega by Su Hwang (Milkweed Editions): Hwang’s book offers a “singular perspective on our nation of immigrants” and is set against “the backdrop of the war on drugs and the 1992 Los Angeles Riots [as] a Korean girl comes of age in her parents’ bodega in the Queensbridge projects.”

A Treatise on Stars by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge (New Directions): In Berssenbrugge’s latest, “long, lyrical lines map a geography of interconnected, interdimensional intelligence that exists in all places and sentient beings. These are poems of deep listening and patient waiting, open to the cosmic loom, the channeling of daily experience and conversation,” and much more.

2020 Kate Tufts Discovery
Award Finalists

Ángel GarcíaTeeth Never Sleep (University of Arkansas Press) Ángel García, a proud son of Mexican immigrants, is the author of Teeth Never Sleep (University of Arkansas Press), winner of the 2018 CantoMundo Poetry Prize, winner of a 2019 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, and a Finalist for the PEN America Open Book Award. His work can be found in American Poetry Review, Crab Orchard Review, Huizache, Waxwing, The Acentos Review, Tinderbox, The Boiler, and The Good Men Project, among others. He currently lives in Lincoln, NE.

Valencia RobinRidiculous Light (Persea Books). Valencia Robin is a poet and visual artist. Her first collection of poems, Ridiculous Light, won Persea Books’ Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize and was named one of Library Journal’s Best Poetry Books of 2019.  Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the New York Times, Poetry Daily, TriQuarterly, Foundry, the St. Petersburg Review, Black Renaissance Noire, Kweli, The Cortland Review and elsewhere. A co-director of the UVA Young Writers Workshop, her honors include the Hocking Hills Festival of Poetry Prize, a Poe/Faulkner Fellowship and scholarships from Cave Canem, Furious Flower, the Vermont College of Fine Arts, Bennington College and the University of Michigan including the Center for the Education of Women. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia and an MFA in Art & Design from the University of Michigan.

Ashley ToliverSpectra (Coffee House Press). Ashley Toliver is the author of Spectra (Coffee House Press), winner of The Poetry Center Book Award and a finalist for the 2018 Believer Book Award. She teaches poetry at the The Attic Institute in southeast Portland and serves as poetry editor at Moss. A Journal of the Pacific Northwest. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation, Oregon Literary Arts, and the Academy of American Poets. She received her MFA from Brown University in 2013.

Emily Jungmin YoonA Cruelty Special to Our Species (Ecco/Harper Collins). Emily Jungmin Yoon is the author of A Cruelty Special to Our Species (Ecco, 2018), winner of the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award, and Ordinary Misfortunes (Tupelo, 2017), winner of the Sunken Garden Chapbook Prize. She is the translator of Against Healing (Tilted Axis, 2019), a chapbook of poems by Korean women writers.  She has accepted awards and fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Aspen Institute, and elsewhere. She is the Poetry Editor for The Margins, the literary magazine of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and a PhD candidate in Korean literature at the University of Chicago.