UT professor Roger Reeves receives Griffin Poetry Prize for his e book ‘Finest Barbarian’

After competing towards greater than 600 different poets, affiliate professor Roger Reeves received the Griffin Poetry Prize for his e book “Finest Barbarian” on June 7.  

“It’s not like something I might have imagined I might ever win,” Reeves stated. “I’m humbled by it.”

In accordance with its web site, The Griffin Poetry Prize is the world’s largest worldwide prize — $130,000 — for a single e book of poetry written or translated into English. 

The prize was based in 2000 with its first winner in 2001. Founder and chairman Scott Griffin stated he labored with the opposite founders to “increase the profile of poetry” in simply Canada initially and noticed the necessity for the popularity of poetry globally. 

“It was now not actually a part of the curriculum within the faculties,” Griffin stated. “Only a few folks had been shopping for poetry, fewer folks had been studying it and nearly none had been citing it. So, we felt that one thing needed to be carried out.”

Quickly sufficient, the award grew to become worldwide. Now, the group provides away greater than $200,000 in awards to poets around the globe for his or her writing. 

Reeves’ profitable e book relies on experiences from his life. Among the matters embrace coping with his father’s passing whereas turning into a father himself, music, race in America and the “ecstatic expertise of language, of affection.”

Reeves stated he plans to make use of the cash from the award to assist out his mom and grandmother, two those who helped increase him and introduce him to language. 

Reeves stated he grew up with language. Raised in a family the place his mom and grandmother beloved to learn, Reeves stated he and his sister grew up surrounded by all kinds of books. Now, poetry is a “elementary half” of how Reeves sees the world. 

“I’m in search of poems. I’m listening to poems. I’m smelling poems. I’m tasting poems. I’m touching poems and seeking to solely kind of be within the poem,” Reeves stated. 

Reeves teaches a number of poetry courses on the College and stated he enjoys his place. 

“It’s nice when you will discover college students who’re as passionate as you’re in regards to the phrase and about poems and what poems would possibly enable them,” Reeves stated. 

Inventive writing professor Lisa Olstein, who works carefully with Reeves, stated she was “overjoyed” to listen to about his accomplishment. 

“I do know that he’s deeply engaged with the facility and potential of language in poetry in a manner that’s directly, extremely, erudite,” Olstein stated. “I feel that his is an enchanting and deeply dedicated poetic thoughts.”