Photo: Jeff Gundy speaks at an event at Bluffton (Ohio) University. Photo provided.
Jeff Gundy, a professor of English at Bluffton (Ohio) University, has been named 2014 Ohio Poet of the Year for his collection, “Somewhere Near Defiance,” published last year by Anhinga Press.
The Ohio Poetry Day Association has presented the award annually since 1976 to a poet or poets on the basis of a book published in the previous year or two. The honor includes a monetary prize and an honorarium as an Ohio Poetry Day speaker. In addition, a poem from Gundy’s book will be included at the beginning of the Ohio Poetry Day 2015 prize poems collection, “Best of 2015.”
Gundy, a Bluffton faculty member since 1984, received the award and read from his work at the poetry day gathering Oct. 16 at the University of Mount Union in Alliance. He recently returned from a sabbatical spent teaching and writing at LCC International University in Klaipeda, Lithuania. His new book of poems, “Abandoned Homeland” (Bottom Dog, 2015), was released in September.
Ohio became the first state to dedicate a day for poetry when it designated the third Friday of every October as Ohio Poetry Day in 1938. Previous Poet of the Year recipients have included many distinguished poets with Ohio connections, including William Matthews and Mary Oliver.
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