Carnegie Mellon Press Release: April 21, 2004
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Press Release

Jonathan Potts

For immediate release:
April 21, 2004

Carnegie Mellon Professor's Poetry Garners Prestigious Writing Award

PITTSBURGH—The Poetry Society of America (PSA) has given its prestigious William Carlos Williams Award to Anthony Butts, an assistant professor of creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University, for his book "Little Low Heaven."

The PSA gives the award every year for the best book of poetry published by a small press, non-profit or university press. "Little Low Heaven," Butts' second full-length poetry book, was published by New Issues Press at Western Michigan University. The William Carlos Williams Award is among poetry's most coveted awards. Butts will receive the award April 29 during a dinner in New York City.

For Butts, winning the award was made sweeter by the fact that this year's judge, Lucie Brock-Broido, is a poet whose work he greatly admires. "She writes about things that matter. I feel a great deal of pride that she chose my poetry, because that's what I aspire to do: to write poetry that matters," Butts said.

A Detroit native, Butts is in his third year as a professor at Carnegie Mellon, which is home to one of the nation's best creative writing programs. He also is the author of "Fifth Season" and the chapbook "Evolution." In 2001, he was the recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Grant. In "Little Low Heaven," he addresses a variety of subjects, including life in the Midwest, the aftermath of sexual abuse and the desire to turn art into something that benefits humanity.

"I tried to make these themes universal and understandable to everyone. It's about what it means to be an outsider among outsiders," Butts said.


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