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Fairchild Wins Tufts Award

April 21, 1999

Poet B.H. Fairchild has won the seventh annual Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award at Claremont Graduate University, officials announced Tuesday. Fairchild, a professor of English at Cal State San Bernardino, was selected in the national competition for his book "The Art of the Lathe" (Alice James Books, 1998).

The $50,000 prize, the nation's largest honoring a single work, is designed to aid a poet who is beyond the beginning of his career but not yet at the pinnacle.

"It would be difficult for me to exaggerate the importance of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award," Fairchild said. "There is, first, the honor, which is brother to recognition. But there is, also, the spirit of the award. I happen to know of the poet Kingsley Tufts and his wife, Kate, and their deep, lifelong love of the art and craft of poetry. So for me there is a genuineness of feeling and a kind of personal validation flowing from the award."

"The Art of the Lathe" is Fairchild's fifth published collection and has also won the Capricorn Poetry Award and the Beatrice Hawley Award.

The Kingsley Tufts award was established in 1992 through a $1.25-million gift to Claremont by the late Kate Tufts in memory of her husband, who was a poet and short story writer.

A $5,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for promising new poets will be presented to Barbara Ras for her collection, "Bite Every Sorrow" (Louisiana State University Press, 1998).

This Sunday in Book Review:

Does a Los Angeles literature exist? And if so, what are the factors that define it? Twenty-nine local authors answer these and other questions while providing a list of the essential L.A. novels.

Plus, Michael Korda remembers a visit he made to Will and Ariel Durant, and Carlos Fuentes and Milan Kundera wish each other happy 70th birthday.

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