BTCF Blog | Amy Clampitt Resident Wins Whiting Award

BTCF Blog

Amy Clampitt Resident Wins Whiting Award

By Darryl Gangloff / March 26, 2019 / Grantee Spotlight
Amy Clampitt Resident Wins Whiting Award

As the 25th recipient of Berkshire Taconic's Amy Clampitt residency program, Tyree Daye recently spent six months at Clampitt's former home near Lenox, Mass., working on his second collection of poetry, "Cardinal," which will be published next year.

"At night, just looking up at the stars is amazing," he said during his stay—his first time living outside of North Carolina. "I love the quietness, and it gives me time to get my work done, which is all I really want. I literally stay up all night thinking about a poem. And days, and days, and days of trying to get the line right."

That dedication to his craft, which he calls "narrative poems with a lyrical thread," has been regularly recognized with accolades since his debut collection, "River Hymns," won the 2017 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize.

Three short months after leaving the Berkshires, Daye received the prestigious Whiting Award. The Whiting Foundation annually gives $50,000 each to 10 diverse emerging writers "based on the criteria of early-career achievement and the promise of superior literary work to come."

Daye was honored on March 20 at a ceremony at the New-York Historical Society along with fiction writers Hernan Diaz, Nafissa Thompson-Spires and Merritt Tierce; nonfiction writers Terese Marie Mailhot and Nadia Owusu; poets Kayleb Rae Candrilli and Vanessa Angélica Villarreal; and playwrights Michael R. Jackson and Lauren Yee.

The Whiting Award Selection Committee described Daye's poems as "haunted and haunting; they make new a familiar human loss and longing. Daye’s pictures of a river life are strung together in language that is clear, lucid, unexpected, and often unforgettable: image-making of the highest order."

Read excerpts of the latest work of each Whiting Award winner in the Paris Review.

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