Gary Snyder (left) has won the $100,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, awarded annually by the Chicago-based Poetry Foundation.
The judges issued the following statement in making the selection: “Gary Snyder is a true nature poet: there’s no sentimentalism to his work, and he never uses the natural world simply to celebrate his own sensibility. A deeply learned and meditative artist, an impassioned ecologist, and a poet of great scope as well as intense focus, Snyder has written poems that we will be reading for as long as we’ve been reading Robert Frost.”
The prize, to be presented at an evening ceremony at the Arts Club of Chicago on 29 May , is named for 92-year-old Indianapolis pharmaceutical heiress Ruth Lilly, the only surviving great-grandchild of Eli Lilly.
The Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize honors a living U.S. poet whose lifetime accomplishments warrant extraordinary recognition. Established in 1986 by Ruth Lilly, the annual prize is sponsored and administered by the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine.