Visiting poet wins $100,000 prize.

In addition to writing his own poetry, Weaver translates work written in Chinese. Photo by Catherine Laine
In addition to writing his own poetry, Weaver translates work written in Chinese. Photo by Catherine Laine

Afaa Michael Weaver, a visiting faculty member in Drew University’s MFA in Poetry and Poetry in Translation program, has won the prestigious $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.

Weaver recently read at Drew’s Winter Poetry Readings held in January and is teaching and serving as a mentor in Drew’s Caspersen School of Graduate Studies this semester.

A resident of Somerville, Mass., Weaver won for his book The Government of Nature (University of Pittsburgh, 2013). The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is one of the nation’s most lucrative poetry awards and is given annually by Claremont Graduate University to a mid-career poet based on that person’s body of work.

“We are thrilled to learn that Afaa Michael Weaver was awarded the Kingsley Tufts Award,” says Sean Nevin, director of Drew’s MFA program. “Afaa has quickly become a beloved member of our MFA community not only because he is a gifted poet and translator, but also because he is, at his heart, a teacher.”

A Baltimore factory worker who returned to college and earned an MFA at Brown University, Weaver has not lacked for opportunities to do just that. He has taught at Rutgers University–Camden and was a poet-in-residence at Bucknell University. He also teaches at Simmons College in Boston.

Weaver has written 12 books of poetry and has previously won numerous awards, including two Pushcart Prizes, NEA and Pew Fellowships in poetry and a Fulbright appointment in Taiwan.

Weaver is one of many decorated poets who are part of Drew’s MFA faculty. Others include 2014 Frost Medalist Gerald Stern and Geoffrey Brock, winner of The Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize.—Liz Moore

Learn more about Weaver in the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe and Time Magazine.