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Salem State English Department Announces 2020 Claire Keyes Poetry Prize Recipient

Salem State University's English department has announced that Arielle Hebert is the recipient of the 2020 Claire Keyes Poetry Prize. The annual competition includes a $1000 prize and publication of a collection of Hebert’s poems in Salem State’s literary magazine Soundings East, scheduled for release later this spring. Poet Erika Meitner served as the judge for the finalist round.

Arielle Hebert is based in Durham, NC, with roots in Florida and Louisiana. She holds an MFA in poetry from North Carolina State University. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Nimrod Journal, Willow Springs, Grist, Crab Orchard Review, and Redivider, among others. She won the 2019 North Carolina State University Poetry Contest selected by judge Ada Limón. She was nominated for Best New Poets Anthology in 2017. She was a finalist for New Letters 2017 Literary Awards and a semi-finalist for the 2016 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry hosted by Nimrod Journal. She is the director of operations and helps books come to life at Blair, a nonprofit publisher focused on emerging and underrepresented voices.

The annual poetry competition was established by Marblehead poet Claire Keyes, professor emerita at Salem State University. Keyes taught poetry for many years and edited the university’s literary magazine Soundings East.

The competition also includes a $200 prize for Salem State undergraduate writers, judged by poet Enzo Surin. This year’s winner is Kayma Snook. The undergraduate runners-up were Angelica Schlieff and Dylan Deforge.

Karen Gahagan
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