Tony Quagliano International Poetry Award 2016 Winner Announced

HONOLULU—Writer Warren Slesinger of Beaufort, South Carolina, was selected as the winner of the 2016 Tony Quagliano International Poetry Award, which the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities (HCH) facilitates through the Tony Quagliano International Poetry Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. The biennial award, which comes with a $1,000 cash prize, honors the poetic tradition of Tony Quagliano’s writing, and recognizes an accomplished poet with an experimental, innovative body of work.

HCH, according to executive director Robert Buss, shares the insight and vision of Tony Quagliano who wrote that “the words we know, all the words we have acquired along the ways of connecting them in all our respective cultures, are nothing less than the irreducible expression of a singular nature we call human.” The criteria of the award stress the role of poetic expression in defining and describing the human search for meaning. In this spirit, said Buss, HCH is proud to recognize Warren Slesinger in Tony’s name and honor for “his delightful and insightful poems.”

A longtime resident of Beaufort, South Carolina, Slesinger has worked in the publishing field as an editor and sales/marketing manager at the following university presses: Chicago, Oregon, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. He is the author of The Evening Light (2013) and A Word For It (2007), and edited the anthologies Spreading the Word: Editors on Poetry and The Whole Story: Editors on Fiction. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Antioch Review, California Quarterly, The Iowa Review, New Letters, Southern Humanities Review, and many other fine journals. He currently teaches English at the University of South Carolina at Beaufort

Poet Maureen Alsop of Australia, who received the Tony Quagliano International Poetry Award in 2014, served as the primary judge for the 2016 award. Alsop said of Slesinger’s work: “Warren Slesinger’s poetry offers an altered and unalterable lexicon where iteration’s embed new trespasses and create a larger attachment of the mind’s origin as confection.”

This year, according to Buss, was an exceptionally competitive year, with six finalists “demonstrating high quality and an amazingly diverse poetic and aesthetic sensitivity.” In addition to announcing Slesinger as the winner of the 2016 Tony Quagliano International Poetry Award, HCH also recognized Tracy D’Arpino from England as first runner-up and local author and pidgin advocate Lee Tonouchi of Honolulu as second runner-up.

For more information about the Tony Quagliano International Poetry Award, go to www.tonyquaglianopoetryfund.com. Application for the next award, to be announced in 2018, may be submitted by December 1, 2017.

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