University of Pittsburgh
December 17, 2008

Pitt English Professor and Poet Wins American Academy of Arts and Sciences Poetry Prize

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Dawn Lundy Martin, assistant professor of English in the University of Pittsburgh's Department of English in the School of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' (AAAS) Poetry Prize. Martin is among five poets to receive the AAAS award, which recognizes emerging poets of exceptional promise and distinguished achievement.

"This is a major award and comes as one of a series of honors Dawn has received for her work, including the Cave Canem Book Prize," said David Bartholomae, Pitt professor of English and chair of the English department.

Martin is a founding member of the Black Took Collective, a group of experimental Black poets; cofounder of the Third Wave Foundation; and coeditor of "The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism" (Anchor Books, 2004). Her books include "The Morning Hour" (Poetry Society of America, 2003), a collection of poems that was selected for the Poetry Society of America's National Chapbook Fellowship, and "A Matter of Gathering / A Gathering of Matter" (University of Georgia Press, 2007), which won the 2006 Cave Canem Book Prize. Her work has appeared in "Hambone," "FENCE," "nocturnes," "Encyclopedia," and "Callaloo."

Presented for the first time this year, the prize was established to honor the memory of longtime AAAS fellow May Sarton, a poet, novelist, and teacher who encouraged the work of young poets during her career. Sarton died in 1995.

In addition to Martin, the poetry prizewinners are Arda Collins, Matthew Dickman, Meghan O'Rourke, and Matthew Zapruder. The poets will each receive a $2,000 honorarium and their work will be published in "Daedalus," the Academy's journal. Prominent American poets Paul Muldoon, Carl Phillips, Charles Simic, C.D. Wright, and Adam Zagajewski, all fellows of the Academy, selected the recipients.