Beth Bachmann was named the 2010 winner of The Kate Tufts Discovery Award, which honors a poet’s first book. Bachmann’s Temper, published last year by the University of Pittsburgh Press, was called “an unforgettable first book” by poet Lynn Emanuel.
“Temper’s account of a murder encompasses the polarities of flesh and spirit, love and horror,” Emanuel said. “The drama of this horrifying event, however, is not what is most compelling about Temper. What is most compelling is the way Beth Bachmann presides over the drama with a courage and restraint which manifest themselves as the beauty of these poems.”
The Kate Tufts Discovery Award, given by Claremont Graduate University, was created by Kate Tufts to “enable a poet to work on his or her craft for a while without paying bills.” It is presented to “a first book by a poet of genuine promise.” Poets Linda Gregerson, Carl Phillips, Paul Muldoon, Ted Genoways and Charles Harper Webb were judges for the award.
“This is a great honor for Beth, and yet another sign of a very bright future for her,” said Carolyn Dever, dean of the College of Arts and Science at Vanderbilt.
Bachmann, assistant professor of English at Vanderbilt, has published in American Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Southern Review, and Tin House. Temper also won the AWP Award Series 2008 Donald Hall Prize in Poetry.
“I am deeply honored to have been selected by this panel of poets, whose work I greatly admire,” Bachmann said. “The award is unbelievably encouraging and extremely motivating.”