Poet Tom Sleigh Walks Away With $100,000

by Staff

Claremont Graduate University announced yesterday that Tom Sleigh won the 2008 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for his collection Space Walk (Houghton Mifflin, 2007). He received $100,000. The award, sponsored by Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California, is given to a midcareer poet "who is past the very beginning, but has not yet reached the acknowledged pinnacle of his or her career." Sleigh is the author of seven books of poetry. He teaches at Hunter College and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

In addition, Janice Harrington won the $10,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, given to an emerging poet, for her debut collection Even the Hollow My Body Made Is Gone (BOA Editions, 2007). The final judges for both awards were Allison Joseph, Robert Pinsky, Alice Quinn, Charles Harper Webb, and Robert Wrigley. Established by Kate Tufts to honor her late husband, poet and fiction writer Kingsley Tufts, the annual awards are given for books of poetry published in the previous year. The awards will be presented at a ceremony at Claremont Graduate University on April 15.

In other $100,000 news, Lucette Lagnado won the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature for her memoir The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: My Family's Exodus From Old Cairo to the New World (Ecco, 2007). The annual award, sponsored by the Jewish Book Council, alternates between fiction and nonfiction. Lagnado will be presented with the $100,000 prize at a ceremony in Jerusalem in April.