June 5, 2014

‘Fast Animal’ poet earns SVSU Board of Fellows Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize

American author and professor Tim Seibles will receive the 13th triennial Saginaw Valley State University Board of Fellows Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize. American author and professor Tim Seibles will receive the 13th triennial Saginaw Valley State University Board of Fellows Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize.

Three judges appointed by the United States poet laureate selected Seibels for his book “Fast Animal,” a collection of work that threads life's journey from childhood to adulthood. The text was a 2012 National Book Award finalist. He has authored four other books of poetry including “Buffalo Head Solos.” One of that collection's poems, “Harvest Moon,” was highlighted in the Pennsylvania Center for the Book’s Public Poetry Project in 2011.

A native of Philadelphia who now resides in Norfolk, Va., Seibles serves on the faculty of Old Dominion University in the English and the Master of Fine Arts in Writing departments. He also serves as a teaching board member of the Muse Writers Workshop and works part-time at the University of Southern Maine in the Stonecoast M.F.A. in Writing Program.

Seibles plans to visit SVSU during the community-wide Theodore Roethke Poetry & Arts Festival, from Friday to Wednesday, Nov. 7-12. He will be honored at the Triennial Poetry Prize Celebration Tuesday, Nov. 11, when Seibles plans to read from his collection of poems. He also will attend a number of other events relating to the festival.

The Theodore Roethke Poetry & Arts Festival is made possible in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The week's lineup will include two productions of a play written by a Roethke disciple, David Wagoner; a display of editions of Roethke's poetry and memorabilia in the SVSU Zahnow Library; a writer's workshop; and a poetry slam at SVSU's Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum. The lineup also includes a jazz concert, a wine and poetry event at Midland-based Creative 360, a presentation of first edition and rare edition books at a Roethke program offered by SVSU's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and a poetry reading at Dow Gardens in Midland.

Named for the late Saginaw poet who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1954 for “The Waking,” the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize has been awarded since 1968 to notable poets for a particular collection of poems published in a specific three-year period.  Past winners include former U.S. Poets Laureate Robert Penn Warren (1971) and Robert Pinsky (2008). The award includes a $10,000 cash prize, awarded by SVSU's Board of Fellows.