U of Nebraska-Lincoln professor wins $165K poetry prize

March 28, 2019

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A University of Nebraska-Lincoln English professor has won a $165,000 prize for his poetry.

The university says Kwame Dawes is the first of its writers to win a Windham-Campbell Prize. The prizes recognize exceptional English language writers in the areas of poetry, fiction, nonfiction and drama. The awards were established in 2013 with a gift from the late writer Donald Windham in memory of Sandy Campbell, his partner of 40 years.

The judges said Dawes’ “visceral, memorable and urgent lyricism results in poetry of compassion, moral seriousness, and depth that resonates across continents.” The award was announced earlier this month.

Dawes said in a university news release that the award “was a surprise to me, and a pleasant one especially because it honors poetry.”

Dawes joined the university as the Chancellor’s Professor of English in 2011. He’s the author of 20 books of poetry and numerous other works of fiction and nonfiction.