FLUSHING, N.Y., June 13, 2013 — With six volumes of poetry to her credit, and numerous French-to-English translations, Queens College English Professor Emerita Marie Ponsot is not averse to hard work. This spring her efforts paid off handsomely. She is the recipient of the 2013 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, which at $100,000 is one of the biggest literary awards in the United States. Issued annually since 1986 by the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, it salutes lifetime achievement by a living poet; previous winners include Adrienne Rich, W.S. Merwin, and Maxine Kumin.
“I’m honored to be a recipient of the Ruth Lilly Award and to be counted amongst such august poets,” says Ponsot. “The spirit of such a prize, as given by Ruth Lilly, is a testament to the power of poetry.” It also attests to the strength of this year’s honoree, a nonagenarian who continues to write—and rewrite—in longhand on pads of paper. In recognition of her achievement, we reprint the above poem.
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