Monday, August 30, 2010

Hooray for Poetry and Hooray for My Son

Some of you few who venture here may have noticed the cellpoems link I have provided on the right side of this blog page. cellpoems is a web site dedicated to publishing short poems - poems limited to the number of characters one can use in a single "Twitter" submission. The site has a steadily growing membership and has received submissions from a number of well known poets including Billy Collins, the former US Poet Laureate among many others.

cellpoems recently was the recipient of a $2500 grant from the National Book Foundation. A goodly  portion of this grant has gone into a redesign of the site which is still underway, plus the addition of more efficient means by which poems can be received and distributed to the site's members. (All of this is free BTW.)

cellpoems is the brainchild of my younger son, Chris and submissions are evaluated by him and other poets. They are pretty tough to please.

A couple of weeks ago Chris received word that he has been chosen one of five winners of the Ruth Lilly  Prize for Poetry given yearly to young poets across the country. The award is sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and its publication, Poetry Magazine. The prize includes a fellowship award of $15000. The poems submitted by Chris and the four other winners will be published in the November issue of Poetry Magazine. There were more than a thousand entrants. The submissions were evaluated by a group of esteemed poets, professors, etc. blindly - that is no names were attached to the works they judged so that only the poems and not the poets were being evaluated.

Ruth Lilly, a member of the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical family, passed away a few years ago leaving the Poetry Foundation and Poetry Magazine two hundred million dollars through her will. This gift raised a number of eyebrows at the time, but poetry was, perhaps her main love in life. Ironically, Ms. Lilly submitted a number of poems to the magazine over the years, none of which were published.

The four other winners include Brooklyn Copeland (also) of Indianapolis, Miriam Bird Greenburg of rural Texas, Nate King of Wellesley, MA, and Dora Malech of Maryland.

Note that a lifetime poetry award which includes a $100,000 prize was awarded to 94 year old Eleanor Ross Taylor of Charlottesville, VA

Kudos and WOOHOOs! to Chris and all of the other winners.



Anonymous said...

Ruth Lilley did not leave $200 million to The Poetry Foundation. It was more like $90 million. Google it.

Terry S said...

The $200 million figure comes directly from the Poetry Foundation site. Seems like they would know.

Oh, and it's "Lilly" not "Lilley." Check your Cialis prescription.

What's up with the "Anonymous" deal?

Anonymous said...

Lilly Heir Makes $100 Million Bequest to Poetry Magazine
Published: November 19, 2002

CHICAGO, Nov. 18— An ailing heir who tried but failed to have her poems published in a small literary journal has given that journal an astonishing bequest that is likely to be worth more than $100 million.

Ruth Lilly, 87, an heir to the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical fortune, submitted several poems to Poetry magazine in the 1970's and was rewarded only with handwritten rejection notes from the editor, Joseph Parisi. Evidently she did not take the rejections to heart. Mr. Parisi announced her gift at the magazine's 90th-anniversary dinner on Friday.

''Its a real mind-blower,'' said the United States' poet laureate, Billy Collins, who was at the dinner. ''Poetry has always had the reputation as being the poor little match girl of the arts. Well, the poor little match girl just hit the lottery.''

This gift has suddenly turned Poetry from a struggling journal little known outside literary circles to one of the world's richest publications. Mr. Parisi said it was by far the largest single donation ever made to an institution devoted to poetry.

''There just isn't anything to compare it to,'' Mr. Parisi said. ''We will be the largest foundation in the world devoted to poetry. It's a huge responsibility, as I'm realizing every day more and more.'

Anonymous said...

Where on the Poetry Foundation website does it say Ruth Lilly gave $200M? I got the $90M figure from memory-- and I've pasted part of a news story to corroborate that. Do you have a link for where YOU found the over-inflated $200M estimate?

One comment from me and your true colors show. I suppose your son will be embarrassed. Cialis, huh? Well, I guess YOU would know about that. I wouldn't. I had to look it up. I'm a woman-- and I'm not nearly as old as you are. (I could take you any time. Bring it on, Milkdud.)

"Anonymous" is very useful in situations where someone doesn't know with whom they are dealing. I'm very glad I used the shield in this instance, as I find you to be combative and insulting, wildly spewing insults, hoping something will stick.

Good day, sir. I SAID GOOD DAY. : )

Anonymous said...

"I could take you anytime" could be misconstrued. I, of course, meant in a physical fitness test.

Terry S said...

Well, what can I say. Yeah, I'm old and cantankerous. Guessed wrong about the Cialis, but when you're "anonymous" it's a toss up, isn't it?

I correct my source - it was actually Wikipedia which states:

"The Poetry Foundation is a Chicago-based American foundation created to promote poetry in the wider culture. It was formed from Poetry magazine, which it continues to publish, with a 2003 gift of $200 million from philanthropist Ruth Lilly."

They go on to say:

"In 2003, Poetry magazine received a grant from the estate of Ruth Lilly originally said to be worth over $100 million, but which grew to be about $200 million when it was given out. The grant added to her already substantial prior contributions."

They also go on to cite a magazine article regarding the gift:

"Goodyear, Dana, "The Moneyed Muse: What can two hundred million dollars do for poetry?", article, The New Yorker, February 19 and February 26 double issue, 2007"

Now, I understand that Wikipedia is sometimes considered to be suspect in its facts. However, this is hardly a particularly contentious issue (other than here apparently.)

As to my being "combative and insulting, wildly spewing insults, hoping something will stick." - that was pretty mild stuff, and I really don't care if any of it sticks or not. I do a lot of political writing giving and getting much worse than a half baked Cialis reference. From that I have developed somewhat of a hair trigger.

And, yes, I believe my son is proud of his old man, as I am of him. He is certainly more accomplished than I, but I hold my own. I did, afterall, have a hand in raising the little bugger.

Terry S said...

As to whether or not you could "take" me: Perhaps so. If your are in good shape, that's a good thing. I'm working on it - I've lost over 30 pounds recently and hope to do the Mini-marathon again if my balky knees will permit.

jeannie danna said...

Hi, Baritone, I just got back into Twitter had to allow cookies
I am following, Cell-Poems!

See you soon... JD

Terry S said...

Great! Keep up the good reading. :)