Congratulations to poet Solmaz Sharif, this year’s recipient of the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton’s Lewis Center for the Arts!
The Holmes National Poetry Prize was established in memory of Princeton 1951 alumnus Theodore H. Holmes and is presented each year to a poet of special merit as nominated and selected by the faculty of the Creative Writing Program, which includes writers Jeffrey Eugenides, Jhumpa Lahiri, Yiyun Li, Paul Muldoon, Kirstin Valdez Quade, James Richardson, Tracy K. Smith, and Susan Wheeler. The award currently carries a prize of $5,000, and was first made to Mark Doty in 2011 and has since also been awarded to Evie Shockley, Natalie Diaz Matt Rasmussen, and Eduardo Corral.
Born in Istanbul to Iranian parents, Sharif holds degrees from University of California, Berkeley, where she studied and taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, and New York University. Her work has appeared in The New Republic, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, jubilat, Gulf Coast, Boston Review, Witness, and others. The former managing director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, her work has been recognized with a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a winter fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a Stegner Fellowship. She received a 2014 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, as well as a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship. Sharif is currently a lecturer at Stanford University. Her first poetry collection, Look, published by Graywolf Press in 2016, was a finalist for the National Book Award.