Seattle’s Hugo House
November 7, 2019
Poet, translator, and young adult author Marilyn Nelson is being honored with the Denise Levertov Award in 2019. She will read selections from her body of work and be interview on stage by James K.A. Smith, Image Journal’ s editor-in-chief. The Levertov Award is given annually by Image to an artist, musician, or writer whose work exemplifies a serious and sustained engagement with faith. This event is co-sponsored by the Seattle Pacific University English department and MFA.
Marilyn Nelson was born in Cleveland, Ohio and is the daughter of one of the last of the Tuskegee Airmen. Her mother was a teacher. Nelson spent much of her youth living on different military bases and began writing poetry in elementary school. She earned her BA from the University of California at Davis, her MA from the University of Pennsylvania, and her PhD from the University of Minnesota. An accomplished poet and translator, Nelson has also written numerous books for children and young adults. She is a three-time finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Robert Frost medal, and the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim Foundation, among other honors. In 2013, Nelson was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. In 2017, she was recognized with both the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children and the prestigious NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature. In 2019, she was awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from the Poetry Foundation.