University of Colorado Denver Associate Professor Wayne Miller has won the 2017 Rilke Prize for his book “Post-,” a collection of poems published last year. The $10,000 prize, awarded by the University of North Texas (UNT), recognizes a book written by a mid-career poet that demonstrates exceptional artistry and vision.
“Post-” positions common and generally private experiences like the birth of a child and the death of a parent alongside the explosion of sociohistorical and political conflict and violence over the past fifteen years. The book examines how events such as 9-11, the financial crisis, and gun violence interact with and impact daily life.
“Usually books of poems are read by their tiny audiences and then quickly disappear into the ether,” said Miller. “It’s deeply gratifying to have ‘Post-’ be recognized with this award.”
At CU Denver, Miller teaches creative writing and editing and is the editor of Copper Nickel, the national literary journal housed at the university. In his work, Miller is interested in contextualizing how historical and political events are reflected in the American experience.
Miller is the author of four collections of poems, including “Post-,” “The City, Our City,” “The Book of Props,” and “Only the Senses Sleep.” He is also a co-translator of two books from the Albanian poet Moikom Zeqo, and a co-editor of three anthologies.
The Rilke Prize is offered by UNT’s Creative Writing Program and the Department of English and was founded in 2012. The prize is named after the 19th century German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, a writer whose work embodies ambition, intellectual and imaginative scope, and technical mastery.