The Stanley Kunitz Award medal is presented annually to a person with a strong Worcester County (Mass.) connection who best exemplifies Stanley Kunitz’s life-long commitment to poetry and poets. The award recognizes the total commitment to poetry as Kunitz lived it: teaching poetry, mentoring poets, speaking poetry, publishing poetry, and supporting organizations that nurture poetry.
Nominations for the annual Stanley Kunitz medal open in December and close in March the following year. The award is typically announced in May with an award ceremony coinciding with Kunitz’s birthday in July.
Nominations should be mailed to:
Worcester County Poetry Association
Attn: Stanley Kunitz Award Committee
PO Box 804
Worcester, MA 01613
The Stanley Kunitz medal may be presented annually to a person with a strong Worcester County connection who best exemplifies Stanley Kunitz’s lifelong commitment to poetry and poets.
The award was created to honor the total commitment to poetry in the way Kunitz exemplified it: teaching poetry, mentoring poets, speaking poetry, publishing poetry, and supporting organizations that nurture poetry.
The President of the WCPA will appoint a selection committee of five who will serve two years minimum. This Committee may or may not include members of the WCPA Board.
The Committee will develop a list of nominees including their qualifications for the award.
Members of the WCPA, the staff of the Worcester Review, and all others with a strong interest in poetry, will be encouraged to nominate individuals. Each year the Committee will choose the award from among the nominees.
Members of the Stanley Kunitz Medal Committee will not be eligible for the award.
Following Stanley Kunitz’s death in 2006, a sum of money was given to the Worcester County Poetry Association for the purpose of creating an award in his name. An endowment was created with the Greater Worcester Community Foundation in support of the award. Additional fundraising took place to increase the fund to a level that would further support the award.
In 2013 a sub-committee of the WCPA board of directors set out to develop guidelines for the award. The guidelines were accepted by the board in October 2013. In 2014 K-Fai Steele was commissioned to create the bust image of Kunitz that is used on the award medal. The first Kunitz Award Committee was formed in mid-2014 and the inaugural award was presented in 2015.