Wayne Miller named 2017 UNT Rilke Prize winner

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 18:30
Wayne Miller is this year’s UNT Rilke Prize winner.
Wayne Miller is this year’s UNT Rilke Prize winner.

Wayne Miller is the 2017 UNT Rilke Prize winner for his book of poetry, “Post-.” The $10,000 prize, sponsored by UNT’s Department of English, recognizes a book published by a mid-career poet that demonstrates exceptional artistry and vision.

 “There were many strong books in the mix this year, but Wayne Miller’s work stood out as a vital collection of poems that places personal loss—the death of a father—within the complex cultural and historical forces that buffet 21st-century American life,” said Corey Marks, UNT’s Creative Writing director. “It was the book that most powerfully rose to the prize’s standards for artistry and vision this year.”

To celebrate the award, a Q&A and reception will be held with Miller at 6:30 p.m. April 12 (Wednesday) at UNT on the Square, 109 N. Elm St. Miller will also give a reading and book signing at 8 p.m. April 13 (Thursday) in Room 180 of the Business Leadership Building, 1307 W. Highland St.

Marks said the UNT Rilke Prize is unique because while there are many prizes that focus on new or emerging writers and some career-capping awards, this one focuses on mid-career poets, who have already published at least two books, and who are now writing mature work that deserves significant attention. There were nearly 200 entries in this year’s contest.

Miller has published four collections of poetry, including “Post-,” “The City,” “Our City,” “The Book of Props,” and “Only the Senses Sleep.” He also is the co-translator of two books from the Albanian poet Moikom Zeqo and co-editor of three anthologies. Miller’s work has been named a finalist for the William Carlos Williams Award, finalist for the 2012 Rilke Prize and the PEN Center USA Award in Translation. He is the recipient of the George Bogin Award, the Lucille Medwick Award, the Lyric Poetry Award, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, the Bess Hokin Prize and a Fulbright to Queen’s University Belfast. Miller co-curates the Pleiades Press Unsung Masters Series and is a professor of English at the University of Colorado Denver, where he edits “Copper Nickel.”

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