Gerald Stern Receives Accolades from Poetry Society of America

Stern_08-04-0414When the Poetry Society of America meets in New York City – it will be awarding its top prize, the Frost Medal, to Gerald Stern, Drew’s Distinguished Poet-in-Residence.

Stern has been awarded the most prestigious prize from the nations’ oldest poetry organization, for a distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry. With the honor, he will be joining the impressive ranks of past recipients including Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Gwendolyn Brooks and Allen Ginsberg.

“This is a big one,” admits Stern, who often writes at his home near the Delaware River. He said he is looking forward to the annual national gathering of poets who will attend, along with Drew representatives, and will be giving a 15 or 20-minute presentation of his own works.

“This is very special,” he says. “This, I am delighted in.”

Stern, who is in his 80s, has won numerous prizes and remains a prolific producer of poetry. He published two books in 2012 and says he is planning on releasing another book this fall.

“We are thrilled at the announcement that Stern has been awarded the academy’s highest honor for an American poet. Stern—or “Jerry” as he is known to all the MFA students—is not just one of America’s most acclaimed poets, but is a beloved and gifted teacher here at Drew,” says Sean Nevin, director of Drew’s MFA in Poetry and Poetry in Translation program. “He has been called an “American original” for his ability to move us from the conversational “I” in his poetry across history, religion and humanity with a uniquely intimate and necessary voice.”

Stern, a former Poet Laureate of New Jersey, is the winner of many distinguished awards—including a National Book Award, the Wallace Stevens Award, induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and accolades from the Paris Review, Poetry and American Poetry Review. Stern was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry in 1991. –Liz Moore