Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A list of award-winning African American poets, 1975 - 2015

Three recent Pulitzer Prize for Poetry winners: Natasha Trethewey, Tracy K. Smith, and Gregory Pardlo

Recently, I produced lists of black men and black women poet award-winners, so now, why not combine the lists? I also decided to add additional recipients. So what follows contains 300 entries.  

[Related: A Notebook on prizes, awards & fellowships]

A few notations:
• The list contains 143 poets (81 men and 62 women).

• Of the 300 awards and fellowships on this list, 153 went to men; 147 went to women.

• The top 6 award winners on this list are Natasha Trethewey (12), Lucille Clifton (9), Rita Dove (8), Tracy K. Smith (8), Elizabeth Alexander (8), and Marilyn Nelson (7). The highest award-winning male poet is Terrance Hayes (6).

• Apparently: more black men poets win, but select black women poets win bigger.

• 218 or 73% of the awards and fellowships were earned between 2000 – 2015. 82 or 27% were earned between 1975 – 1999.

• 60 or 42% of the poets earned two or more of the honors.

• The numbers of awards, fellowships, and poets have increased over the decades. Or put another way, poets have far more opportunities to win (and lose) prizes during the early 21st century as opposed to the late 20th century.

• This list, like any, is partial, incomplete. Also, in the interest of time and space, I did not include the dozens of awards and prizes received by Maya Angelou, perhaps the most honored poet of all time.

The List
1975: Ai (Guggenheim Fellowship)
1976: Michael S. Harper (Guggenheim Fellowship)
1976: Gwendolyn Brooks (Shelley Memorial Award)
1976-1978: Robert Hayden (Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress)
1979: Lucille Clifton (Poet Laureate of Maryland)
1982: Sterling A. Brown (Langston Hughes Award)
1983: Margaret Walker Alexander (Langston Hughes Award)
1983: Rita Dove (Guggenheim Fellowship)
1984: Wanda Coleman (Guggenheim Fellowship)
1984: Sterling Brown (Poet Laureate of Washington D.C.)
1985: Etheridge Knight (Shelley Memorial Award)
1985-1986: Gwendolyn Brooks (Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress)
1986: Raymond R. Patterson (Langston Hughes Award)
1987: Etheridge Knight (American Book Award)
1987: Ai (American Book Award)
1987: Rita Dove (Pulitzer Prize for Poetry)
1989: Gwendolyn Brooks (Robert Frost Medal)
1989: Amiri Baraka (Langston Hughes Award)
1989: Askia M. Touré (American Book Award)
1990: Thylias Moss (National Poetry Series Winner)
1990: M. NourbeSe Philip (Guggenheim Fellowship)
1991: Thylias Moss (Whiting Writers' Award)
1991: Maya Angelou (Langston Hughes Award)
1991: Audre Lorde (Poet Laureate of New York)
1992: Kevin Young (Stegner Fellowship)
1992: Ruth Forman (Barnard Women Poets Prize)
1992: Marilyn Nelson (Anisfield-Wolf Award)
1992: Derek Walcott (Nobel Prize for Literature)
1992: Lucille Clifton (Shelley Memorial Award)
1992: Allison Joseph (John C. Zacharis First Book Award)
1993: Cyrus Cassells (Lannan Literary Award for Poetry)
1993: Audre Lorde (Lambda Literary Award)
1993: Cornelius Eady (Guggenheim Fellowship)
1993: Kevin Young (National Poetry Series Winner)
1993: Nathaniel Mackey (Whiting Writers' Award)
1993: Maya Angelou (Presidential Inaugural Poet)
1993: Eugene B. Redmond (American Book Award)
1993: Essex Hemphill (Pew Fellowship in the Arts)
1993-1995: Rita Dove (United States Poet Laureate)
1994: Yusef Komunyakaa (Pulitzer Prize for Poetry)
1994: Audre Lorde (Lambda Literary Award)
1994: Yusef Komunyakaa (Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award)
1994: Gwendolyn (Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters)
1994: Adam David Miller (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
1995: Cyrus Cassells (William Carlos Williams Award)
1995: Major Jackson (Pew Fellowship in the Arts)
1995: Margaret Walker (Richard Wright Literary Excellence Award)
1995: Thylias Moss (Guggenheim Fellowship)
1995: Sam Cornish (Stephen Henderson Poetry Award)
1995: E. Ethelbert Miller (O.B. Hardison, Jr., Poetry Prize)

1995: Forrest Hamer (Alice James Award)
1995: Beverly V. Head (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
1995: Gwendolyn Brooks (National Medal of Arts)
1996: Kevin Young (John C. Zacharis First Book Award)
1996: Nikki Giovanni (Langston Hughes Award)
1996: Quincy Troupe (Stephen Henderson Poetry Award)
1996: Lucille Clifton (Lannan Literary Award for Poetry)
1996: Rita Dove (National Humanities Medal)
1996: Jay Wright (Academy of American Poets' Fellowship)
1996: Bruce A. Jacobs (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
1996: Thylias Moss (MacArthur Fellowship)
1997: E. Ethelbert Miller (Stephen Henderson Poetry Award)
1997: Tracy K. Smith (Stegner Fellowship)
1997: Carl Phillips (Guggenheim Fellowship)
1997: Bill Harris (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
1998: Cyrus Cassells (Lambda Literary Awards)
1998: Ishmael Reed (MacArthur Fellowship)
1998: Ed Roberson (National Poetry Series Winner)
1998: Sherley Anne Williams (Stephen Henderson Poetry Award)
1998: Afaa Michael Weaver (Pew Fellowship in the Arts)
1998: Claude Wilkinson (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
1998: Brenda Marie Osbey (American Book Award)
1999: Terrance Hayes (Whiting Writers' Award)
1999: Natasha Trethewey (Cave Canem poetry prize)
1999: Sonia Sanchez (Langston Hughes Award)
1999: Sterling D. Plumpp (Richard Wright Literary Excellence Award)
1999: Dolores Kendrick (Poet Laureate of Washington D.C.)
1999: Ai (National Book Award for Poetry)
1999: Gwendolyn Brooks (Academy of American Poets' Fellowship)
1999: Ruth Ellen Kocher (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
1999: Wanda Coleman (Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize)
1999: Marilyn Nelson (Poets' Prize)
2000: Jay Wright (Lannan Literary Award for Poetry)
2000: Terrance Hayes (Kate Tufts Discovery Award)
2000: Major Jackson (Cave Canem poetry prize)
2000: Claude Wilkinson (Whiting Writers' Award)
2000: Jerry Wemple (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
2000: Lucille Clifton (National Book Award for Poetry)
2000: Maya Angelou (National Medal of Arts)
2000: Natasha Trethewey (The Radcliffe Institute Fellowship)
2000: Sharan Strange (Barnard Women Poets Prize)
2000: Quincy Troupe (Stephen Henderson Poetry Award)
2001: Terrance Hayes (National Poetry Series Winner)
2001: Yusef Komunyakaa (Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize)
2001: James R. Whitley (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
2001: Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon (Cave Canem poetry prize)
2001: Marilyn Nelson (Guggenheim Fellowship)
2001: Sonia Sanchez (Robert Frost Medal)
2001: Natasha Trethewey (Lillian Smith Book Award)
2001: Lucille Clifton (Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award)

2001: Marilyn Nelson (Boston Globe–Horn Book Award)
2001: Constance Merritt (The Radcliffe Institute Fellowship)
2001: Natasha Trethewey (Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award)
2001: Constance Merritt (The Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Awards)
2001: Jayne Cortez (Langston Hughes Award)
2001: Carl Phillips (Lambda Literary Award)
2001-2006: Marilyn Nelson (Poet Laureate of Connecticut)
2002: Jay Wright (Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award)
2002: Amiri Baraka (Poet Laureate of New Jersey)
2002: Quincy Troupe (Poet Laureate of California)
2002: Clarence Major (Stephen Henderson Poetry Award)
2002: Carl Phillips (Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award)
2002: Al Young (American Book Award)
2002: Angela Jackson (Shelley Memorial Award)
2002: Tracy K. Smith (Cave Canem poetry prize)
2002: Elizabeth Alexander (Guggenheim Fellowship)
2002: Peggy Ann Tartt (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
2003: Natasha Trethewey (Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award)
2003: Natasha Trethewey (Guggenheim Fellowship)
2003: Monifa A. Love (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
2003: Lucille Clifton (Langston Hughes Award)
2003: James A. Emanuel (Langston Hughes Award)
2003: Cornelius Eady (O.B. Hardison, Jr., Poetry Prize)
2003: Askia M. Toure (Stephen Henderson Poetry Award)
2003: Kyle G. Dargan (Cave Canem poetry prize)
2003: Amaud Jamual Johnson (Stegner Fellowship)
2003: Kevin Young (Guggenheim Fellowship)
2004: Amber Flora Thomas (Cave Canem poetry prize)
2004: Toi Derricotte (Guggenheim Fellowship)
2004: Mendi Lewis Obadike (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
2004: Tracy K. Smith (The Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Awards)
2004-2006: Rita Dove (Poet Laureate of Virginia)
2004: Tyehimba Jess (National Poetry Series Winner)
2004: A. Van Jordan (Whiting Writers' Award)
2004: Frank X. Walker (Lillian Smith Book Award)
2004: Yusef Komunyakaa (Shelley Memorial Award)
2004: Sharan Strange (The Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Awards)
2005: Tracy K. Smith (Whiting Writers' Award)
2005: Mona Lisa Savoy (T. S. Eliot Prize)
2005: Patricia Smith (National Poetry Series Winner)
2005: Constance Quarterman Bridges (Cave Canem poetry prize)
2005: Frank X. Walker (Lannan Literary Award for Poetry)
2005: Al Young (Poet Laureate of California)
2005: Thomas Sayers Ellis (Whiting Writers' Award)
2005: Anthony A. Lee (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
2005: John Keene (Whiting Writers' Award)
2005: A. Van Jordan (Anisfield-Wolf Award)
2005: Lamont B. Steptoe (American Book Award)
2005: Jay Wright (Bollingen Prize for American Poetry)
2005: Harryette Mullen (Guggenheim Fellowship)

2005: Roxane Beth Johnson (Philip Levine Prize in Poetry)
2005: Claudia Rankine (Academy of American Poets' Fellowship)
2005: Elizabeth Alexander (Alphonse Fletcher Sr. Fellowship)
2006: Tyehimba Jess (Whiting Writers' Award)
2006: Jay Wright (American Book Award Lifetime Achievement)
2006: June Jordan (Lambda Literary Award)
2006: Al Young (Stephen Henderson Poetry Award)
2006: Nathaniel Mackey (National Book Award for Poetry)
2006: Carl Phillips (Academy of American Poets' Fellowship)
2006: Thomas Sayers Ellis (John C. Zacharis First Book Award)
2006: Major Jackson (The Radcliffe Institute Fellowship)
2006: Dawn Lundy Martin (Cave Canem poetry prize)
2006: Rita Dove (Common Wealth Award of Distinguished Service)
2006: Carolyn Beard Whitlow (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
2006: Tracy K. Smith (James Laughlin Award)
2007: Ronaldo V. Wilson (Cave Canem poetry prize)
2007: A. Van Jordan (Guggenheim Fellowship)
2007: Harryette Mullen (PEN/Open Book)
2007: Al Young (Richard Wright Literary Excellence Award)
2007: Marilyn Nelson (Stephen Henderson Poetry Award)
2007: Lucille Clifton (Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize)
2007: Remica L. Bingham (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
2007: Harryette Mullen (Beyond Margins Award)
2007: Natasha Trethewey (Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award)
2007: Patricia Smith (Hurston-Wright Legacy Award)
2007: Natasha Trethewey (Pulitzer Prize for Poetry)
2007: Natasha Trethewey (Lillian Smith Book Award)
2007: Elizabeth Alexander (Jackson Poetry Prize)
2008: Douglas Kearney (National Poetry Series Winner)
2008: Reginald Shepherd (Guggenheim Fellowship)
2008: Kyle G. Dargan (Hurston-Wright Legacy Award)
2008: C. S. Giscombe (American Book Award)
2008: Adrian Matejka (National Poetry Series Winner)
2008: Michael S. Harper (Robert Frost Medal)
2008: Roger Reeves (Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships)
2008: Nathaniel Mackey (Stephen Henderson Poetry Award)
2008: Nikki Giovanni (American Book Award)
2008: Nagueyalti Warren (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
2009: Indigo Moor (Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize)
2009: Ed Roberson (Shelley Memorial Award)
2009: Jericho Brown (American Book Award)
2009: Terrance Hayes (Guggenheim Fellowship)
2009: Jericho Brown (Whiting Writers' Award)
2009: Gary Jackson (Cave Canem poetry prize)
2009: Jericho Brown (The Radcliffe Institute Fellowship)
2009: Myronn Hardy (Hurston-Wright Legacy Award)
2009: Reginald Dwayne Betts (Alice James Award)
2009: Dawn Lundy Martin (Nightboat Books Poetry Prize)
2009: Vievee Francis (The Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Awards)
2009: Natasha Trethewey (Richard Wright Literary Excellence Award)

2009: Elizabeth Alexander (Stephen Henderson Poetry Award)
2009: Crystal Williams (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
2009: Elizabeth Alexander (Presidential Inaugural Poet)
2009: Harryette Mullen (Academy of American Poets' Fellowship)
2010: C.S.Giscombe (Stephen Henderson Poetry Award)
2010: Terrance Hayes (National Book Award for Poetry)
2010: Quincy Troupe (American Book Award Lifetime Achievement)
2010: Camille Dungy (Crab Orchard Open Poetry Series)
2010: Lucille Clifton (Robert Frost Medal)
2010: Elizabeth Alexander (Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award)
2010: Patricia Smith (Rattle Poetry Prize)
2010: Camille Dungy (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Award)
2010: Harryette Mullen (Jackson Poetry Prize)
2010: Vievee Francis (Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize)
2010: Haki R. Madhubuti (Hurston-Wright Legacy Award)
2010: Iain Haley Pollock (Cave Canem poetry prize)
2010: Nathaniel Mackey (Guggenheim Fellowship)
2010: Edward Bruce Bynum (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
2011: Camille Dungy (American Book Award)
2011: Carmen Gillespie (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
2011: Elizabeth Alexander (Hurston-Wright Legacy Award)
2011: Rita Dove (National Medal of Arts)
2011: Maya Angelou (Presidential Medal of Freedom)
2011: Nicole Terez Dutton (Cave Canem poetry prize)
2011: Nikky Finney (National Book Award for Poetry)
2011: Marcus Wicker (Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships)
2011: John Murillo (PEN/Open Book)
2011: Ed Roberson (Stephen Henderson Poetry Award)
2011: Yusef Komunyakaa (Wallace Stevens Award)
2011: Shane McCrae (Whiting Writers' Award)
2011: Carl Phillips (Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry)
2011: Reginald Dwayne Betts (The Radcliffe Institute Fellowship)
2011: Marcus Wicker (National Poetry Series Winner)
2012: Marilyn Nelson (Robert Frost Medal)
2012: Evie Shockley (Hurston-Wright Legacy Award)
2012: Wanda Coleman (Shelley Memorial Award)
2012: Reginald Dwayne Betts (Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships)
2012: Reginald Harris (Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize)
2012: Rickey Laurentiis (Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships)
2012: Jamaal May (Alice James Award)
2012: Kevin Young (American Book Award)
2012: Kwame Dawes (Guggenheim Fellowship)
2012: Eugene B. Redmond (American Book Award Lifetime Achievement)
2012: Dexter Booth (Cave Canem poetry prize)
2012: Natasha Trethewey (Poet Laureate of Mississippi)
2012: Tracy K. Smith (Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative)
2012: Ishmael Reed (Jazz Poet Laureate for the SF Jazz festival)
2012: Tracy K. Smith (Pulitzer Prize for Poetry)
2012: Sheila Carter-Jones (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
2012-2014: Natasha Trethewey (United States Poet Laureate)

2013: Phillip B. Williams (Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships)
2013: Ishion Hutchinson (Whiting Writers' Award)
2013: TJ Jarrett (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Award)
2013: Lucille Clifton (Hurston-Wright Legacy Award)
2013: Patricia Smith (Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize)
2013: Frank X. Walker (Poet Laureate of Kentucky)
2013: Harmony Holiday (Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships)
2013: Esperanza Cintrón (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
2013: Rowan Ricardo Phillips (Whiting Writers' Award)
2013: Ross Gay (Guggenheim Fellowship)
2013: Major Jackson (Guggenheim Fellowship)
2013: F. Douglas Brown (Cave Canem poetry prize)
2014: Yona Harvey (Kate Tufts Discovery Award)
2014: Claudia Rankine (Lannan Literary Award for Poetry)
2014: Claudia Rankine (Jackson Poetry Prize)
2014: Patricia Smith (Guggenheim Fellowship)
2014: Claudia Rankine (Los Angeles Times Book Prize)
2014: Tracy K. Smith (Academy of American Poets' Fellowship)
2014: Rita Dove (Carole Weinstein Prize in Poetry)
2014: Renee Gladman (The Radcliffe Institute Fellowship)
2014: Patricia Smith (Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry)
2014: Rickey Laurentiis (Cave Canem poetry prize)
2014: Afaa Michael Weaver (Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award)
2014: Adrian Matejka (Lannan Literary Award for Poetry)
2014: Jamaal May (Lannan Literary Award for Poetry)
2014 Danez Smith (Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships)
2014: Derrick Harriell (Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award)
2014: Adrian Matejka (Guggenheim Fellowship)
2014: Terrance Hayes (MacArthur Fellowship)
2014: Austin Alexis (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
2014: Adrian Matejka (Anisfield-Wolf Award)
2014: Nathaniel Mackey (Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize)
2014: Amaud Jamual Johnson (Hurston-Wright Legacy Award)
2014: Ruth Ellen Kocher (PEN/Open Book)
2015: Nathaniel Mackey (Bollingen Prize for American Poetry)
2015: Kamau Brathwaite (Robert Frost Medal)
2015: Roger Reeves (Whiting Writers' Award)
2015: Gregory Pardlo (Pulitzer Prize for Poetry)
2015: Claudia Rankine (National Book Critics Circle Award)
2015: Rowan Ricardo Phillips (Guggenheim Fellowship)
2015: Thomas Sayers Ellis (Guggenheim Fellowship)
2015: A. Van Jordan (Lannan Literary Award for Poetry)
2015: Nate Marshall (Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships)
2015: Ross Gay (The Radcliffe Institute Fellowship)
2015: Aracelis Girmay (Whiting Writers' Award)
2015: Robin Coste Lewis (National Book Award for Poetry)
2015: Jamila Woods (Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships)
2015: R. Flowers Rivera (Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award)
2015: Elizabeth Alexander (Inaugural Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry)
2015: Danez Smith (Lambda Literary Award)

A Notebook on prizes, awards & fellowships


reiko said...

Great list! Typo: Nikki Giovanni

evelyn.n.alfred said...

Thank you for this list!

evelyn.n.alfred said...

Again, this list is amazing. How were you able to put this together? Did you go to one source or many?