University Press Awards T.S. Eliot Prize

Ilyse Kusnetz is the winner of the 2014 T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry for her collection, “Small Hours.” Her manuscript was selected from nearly 400 entries in the 18th annual competition sponsored by Truman State University Press. Kusnetz will receive $2,000 and publication of her manuscript, which is scheduled for fall 2014.

Kusnetz previously published a chapterbook, “The Gravity of Falling,” and her poetry has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Cincinnati Review, Crazyhorse, Stone Canoe, Rattle and Atlanta Review, among other journals. She teaches at Valencia College, Orlando, Fla., where she currently holds the Jessie and Eugene Drey Chair in the Humanities. She received her Master of Arts degree in creative writing from Syracuse University and her Ph.D. in feminist and postcolonial British literature from the University of Edinburgh.

This year’s judge, Dorianne Laux said, “‘Small Hours’ contains poetry of historic and global empathy, various in its subjects though not in its voice, which is clear, fierce, precise and thoughtful.”

Three finalists were also named: Patricia Hooper for “Separate Flights,” Michael Miller for “The Different War” and Jeff Knorr for “The Color of a New Country.”

The prize, established in 1996 in honor of Missouri native T. S. Eliot, is an annual award for the best, unpublished book-length collection of poetry.