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CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Student Awarded Wallace Stevens Student Poetry Scholarship

(Hartford, Conn.) Daniel Diaz-Villafane of Hartford, and a junior at CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, will receive a $1,000 college scholarship from The Hartford Friends of Wallace Stevens at the 55th Wallace Stevens Poetry Program on Thursday, March 29, at 1:30 p.m. at CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School, 160-172 Huyshope Ave. The check presentation is part of a two-day celebration of the late Hartford poet’s work. Diaz-Villafane will read his winning poem at the event. His poem was selected from entries from high school juniors and seniors throughout Hartford. This is also the eighth consecutive year that a student from CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts has won the Wallace Stevens Student Poetry Prize since its inception in 2001.

Wallace Stevens is ranked with William Carlos Williams, T.S. Eliot, and Marianne Moore as one of America’s foremost poets of the twentieth century. He enjoyed a long and successful career as an executive of the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company, and was a Hartford resident for many years before his death in 1955.

The nonprofit Hartford Friends of Wallace Stevens preserves Wallace’s cultural legacy through this annual Wallace Stevens Poetry Program event. It also promotes the literary arts and hosts public programs that celebrate poetry and encourage its enjoyment by Hartford-area residents. The Wallace Stevens Poetry Program will kick off on March 28 at 7 p.m. at the Doris & Simon Konover Auditorium on UConn’s campus at 405 Babbidge Road, Storrs. Poet Joy Harjo is the special guest both days. The Hartford is this year’s sponsor. The University of Connecticut’s American Studies department, English department, Creative Writing Program, English Speaker’s Fund, Humanities Institute, and Rightors Fund have provided additional support.

Harjo’s eight books of poetry include Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, and She Had Some Horses. Her memoir, Crazy Brave, won several awards, including the PEN USA Literary Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the American Book Award. She is also the recipient of the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets for proven mastery in the art of poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the United States Artist Fellowship. In 2014, she was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. She is Professor of English and American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In the fall of 2016, she assumed the Chair of Excellence in Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

About Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens, (1879–1955), was American poet. Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, he was educated at Harvard University and New York Law School. After 1916, he was associated with the Hartford Accident & Indemnity Company, and from 1934 until his death, he served as vice president. Stevens was concerned with creating order in the “slovenly wilderness” of chaos through exquisite verse. His ideas are expressed in his earliest volume, Harmonium (1923), which collected many of his best-known poems: “Sunday Morning,” "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," "The Emperor of Ice Cream," and "The Snow Man." His ideas are developed in the subsequent volumes: Ideas of Order (1936); The Man with the Blue Guitar (1937); Parts of the World (1942); Transport to Summer (1947), which includes the long poem “Notes toward a Supreme Fiction,” in which Stevens elaborates on the poet's role in creating the fictions necessary to transform and harmonize the world; The Auroras of Autumn (1950); The Necessary Angel, essays (1951); Collected Poems (1954, awarded the Pulitzer Prize); and Opus Posthumous (1957). 

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