Erin Adair-Hodges, a poet, essayist and blogger, is the winner of the 2016 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. Her manuscript, “Let’s All Die Happy,” will be published next fall by the prize’s sponsor, the University of Pittsburgh Press.
The award is given to a writer’s first full-length book of poems and named after the first director of the publishing house. It carries a cash award of $5,000.
The poems in “Let’s All Die Happy” examine a patriarchal culture in which women are defined through their relationship to others. “This inheritance weighs heavy not only on the lives we lead, but shapes what kind of life it’s possible to even imagine,” Ms. Adair-Hodges said.
The 40-year-old writer was was born and reared in Albuquerque, N.M., where she teaches writing and literature at Central New Mexico Community College.
“I had broken up with poetry for a long time, and I’m so grateful we found our way back to each other.”