Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 5, 2008

UI Writers' Workshop graduates win prestigious poetry awards

Recent graduates of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop have captured two of the poetry world's most prestigious first-book awards. Jonathan Thirkield's collection "The Waker's Corridor" was selected for the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, and Arda Collins' "It Is Daylight" is the winner of the 2008 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition.

Awarded since 1919 to poets under the age of 40, the Yale Younger Poets prize is the oldest annual literary award in the United States. Past winners include Muriel Rukeyser, Adrienne Rich, William Meredith, W.S. Merwin, John Ashbery, John Hollander, James Tate, Paul Engle and Carolyn Forché.

Collins' poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The New Yorker, the American Poetry Review, A Public Space, jubilat and the Canarium. A 2004 graduate of the Writers' Workshop, where she was a Glenn Schaeffer Fellow, she is an editor of the online poetry journal GutCult.

The Walt Whitman Award was established in 1975 to encourage the work of emerging poets and to enable the publication of a poet's first book. Thirkield was a Truman Capote Fellow at the workshop and graduated in 2003. His poems have appeared in WebConjunctions, New American Writing, the Colorado Review, 1913: a journal of forms, American Letters & Commentary, Verse and other journals.

The Writers' Workshop is a graduate program in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,