Yemeni-American poet Threa Almontaser wins Whitman award

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This undated photo provided by the Academy of American Poets shows Threa Almontaser, the 2020 Walt Whitman Award Winner. (Jawaher Ali/Threa Almontaser/Courtesy of Academy of American Poets via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Yemeni-American poet Threa Almontaser has won the Walt Whitman Award for best first book. Almontaser’s “The Wild Fox of Yemen” comes out in April 2021.

Presented by the Academy of American Poets, the award includes a six-week residency in Umbria, Italy, and $5,000. In addition, the academy will purchase hundreds of copies of her book and distribute them to members.

“The spirit of Whitman lives in these poems that sing and celebrate a vibrant, rebellious body with all its physical and spiritual entanglements,” award judge Harryette Mullen said in a statement.

The Whitman award was established in 1975 to champion emerging poets. Previous winners include Jenny Xie, Judy Jordan and Chris Llewellyn.

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