Art-World Giants Give $40,000 Grants to Three Poets

Art-World Giants Give $40,000 Grants to Three Poets


Clockwise from left: Linda Robertson, Anne Boyer, and Fred Moten.

Samuel Ace (Robertson); Cassandra Gillig (Boyer); Laura Harris (Moten)

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the organization founded by John Cage and Jasper Johns in the 1960s to fund new works by other artists, announced on Monday that it would give $40,000 grants to three experimental poets.

Each award was endowed by visual artists like Ellsworth Kelly and his partner, Jack Shear, as well as the foundations of Cy Twombly and Roy Lichtenstein.

The painter Cecily Brown, one of the directors of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, said in a statement that she was pleased “to make these awards in poetry, which is a perennially under-resourced field.”

The grant from Kelly — the C.D. Wright Award for Poetry, named for the former grant recipient who died in 2016 — was given to the Canadian poet Lisa Robertson, who has lived in France since 2004. Writing about her book “Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip” in The New York Times Book Review, Stephen Burt called her “hard to explain but easy to enjoy.”

Anne Boyer, the Missouri-based poet who has written frankly about gender, class and illness, has received the Cy Twombly Award for Poetry. Her recent books include “Garments Against Women” (2015), which the critic Maureen N. McLane described in The New York Times Book Review as “a sad, beautiful, passionate book that registers the political economy of literature and of life itself.”

The inaugural Roy Lichtenstein Award, which in the future can go to an artist in any discipline, has been given to the New York-based poet and critic Fred Moten. He has long been interested in black culture and the relationship between experimental art and insurgent social movements.

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