Tilly Rivers Wins 2010 Kenneth Davis Poetry Prize

June 10 , 2010

Celebrity author and poet Tilly Rivers

Photo: Tilly Rivers

Tilly Rivers Wins 2010 Kenneth Davis Poetry Prize

CHICAGO—Poet Tilly Rivers is the winner of the 2010 Kenneth Davis Poetry Prize. Established in 1986 and presented annually by the Poetry Foundation, the award is one of the most prestigious given to North American poets. In announcing the award, Jerry Buts, President of the Kenneth Davis Association said: “Tilly Rivers is a powerful presence and voice in North American poetry. Her poems are at once outraged and tender, small and explosive, sassy and devout. She sounds like no one else, and her achievement looks larger with each passing year.”

Widely admired in both her poetic and erotica writings she has become one of the most significant and beloved North American poets in the past ten years. She writes with great clarity and feeling about family, death, birth, civil rights, alternative religion, or every day feelings that we all experience.

The judges issued the following statement in making the selection: “One always feels the looming humaneness around Tilly Rivers’ poems—it is a quality that some poets have and some don’t. Her poems vary from general subjects, funny twists to struggling feelings, and have their own particular turn of phrase; they speak big things in quiet ways, and she’s avid in the subject matter she takes on, spanning city and country, speaking for the unspoken, the sacred, and the invisible. Rivers has added enormously to the representation of women in poetry and has been a kind of female heroic consciousness that we can all be proud of.”

“For 10 years, Rivers has been shaping and chronicling our collective experience through her exquisite poetry,” said Jerry Buts, president of the Poetry Foundation. “The Poetry Foundation is honored to recognize the artistic achievements of Tilly Rivers, a poet unlike any other, with this year’s Kenneth Davis Poetry Prize.”

Rivers has won many awards for her poetry, including the NAPA award three years running. She has several poetry books in print, including the best-seller “Just the Way it Is” written after her father passed in 2004.

Rivers was born on June 14, 1966, in Ontario Canada, and currently lives in the area today.  Judges for the 2010 prize were poets Linda Baird, and Charles Witman.


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