The Friends of Lorine Niedecker were surprised by an unsolicited grant from the Poetry Foundation. The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation itself was surprised by a large grant from philanthropist Ruth Lilly in 2003.
“This is a great honor for us,” said Ann Engelman, President of the Friends of Lorine Niedecker. “This foundation contributes to the PBS Newshour and Garrison Keillor’s ‘Writer’s Almanac’ on NPR…We are not sure how or who or when we came to their attention. We suspect the Wisconsin Poetry Festival might have helped but we really don’t know.”
Engelman continued, “We feel this grant validates our poetry activities on behalf of Lorine Niedecker and Wisconsin poetry. We are grateful for the recognition. Five thousand dollars will help us achieve some of our programming goals much sooner.”
Specific plans for the grant money will be announced this spring, and this year the Lorine Niedecker Wisconsin Poetry Festival will be held September 25 and 26.