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Published: April 06, 2016

UT Professor Wins National Prize for Best Book of Verse

Erica Dawson, UT associate professor of English and director of the low-residency MFA program in creative writing, recently won the 2016 Poets' Prize from the West Chester University Poetry Center.

The West Chester University Poetry Center awards the prize annually for the best book of verse published by a living American poet two years prior to the award year. A committee of 20 to 25 internationally renowned poets nominate approximately 50 books and, after several rounds of consideration, choose a winner.

In addition to the award, Dawson received a cash prize and will read from her work at the May 19 awards ceremony hosted by the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York City.

Dawson, who specializes in contemporary American poetry, Shakespearean drama, the Cavalier poets, and aesthetics and poetics, is the author of two collections of poetry: The Small Blades Hurt (Measure Press, 2014) and Big-Eyed Afraid (Waywiser, 2007). Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Barrow Street, Birmingham Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Literary Imagination, Virginia Quarterly Review and numerous other journals and anthologies.