Marilyn Chin and D.A. Powell win 2019 Literature Awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters

Marilyn Chin, D.A. Powell

Marilyn Chin, D.A. Powell

March 11, 2019 - 12:00am

The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced today the names of 17 writers who will receive its 2019 Awards in Literature.

Marilyn Chin (MFA, 1981) will receive one of eight Arts and Letters Awards in Literature ($10,000 each) honoring exceptional accomplishment in any genre. D.A. Powell (MFA, 1996) will receive the John Updike Award ($20,000), given to a writer whose work has demonstrated consistent excellence. The awards will be presented in New York at the Academy’s annual Ceremonial in May. The literature prizes, totaling $220,000, honor both established and emerging writers of fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry. The Academy’s 250 members propose candidates, and a rotating committee of writers selects winners.

Marilyn Chin is the author of A Portrait of the Self As Nation: New and Selected Poems (2018); Hard Love Province (2014), winner of the 2015 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award; Rhapsody in Plain Yellow (2002); The Phoenix Gone, The Terrace Empty (1994); and Dwarf Bamboo (1987). She was elected to the Academy of American Poets’ Board of Chancellors in January, 2018. Chin has been a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard, the Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio, the National Endowment for the Arts, and at Stanford/Wallace Stegner. She has also won a PEN/Josephine Miles Award and five Pushcart Prizes. Marilyn Chin has taught at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and has served as guest poet at universities in Singapore, Hong Kong, Manchester, Sydney, and Berlin. She is currently Professor Emerita at San Diego State University.

D. A. Powell is the author of five original poetry collections, including the trilogy of Tea (1998), Lunch (2000), and Cocktails (2004), which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His poetry collection, Chronic (2009), received the Kingsley Tufts Award, and was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. His most recent books are Repast: Tea, Lunch, Cocktails (Graywolf Press, 2014) and Useless Landscape, or a Guide for Boys: Poems (Graywolf Press, 2012), which was the winner of the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. His honors include a Paul Engle Fellowship from the James Michener Center, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Lyric Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America. He has taught at Columbia University, the University of Iowa, Sonoma State University, San Francisco State University, and served as the Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Poetry at Harvard University. He currently teaches at the University of San Francisco.

For more information:
2019 American Academy of Arts and Letters Awards in Literature

"Introducing Three New Chancellors: Marilyn Chin, Kwame Dawes & Marie Howe" (

Poetry Foundation: D.A. Powell