Worcester County Poetry Association
Established 1971

Medal design by K-Fai Steele

Nominations were open between January 1, 2017 and March 1, 2017.

The 2017 award announcement was made in the May of 2017 with an award ceremony coinciding with Kunitz’s birthday in July 2017.

Nominations will reopen on January 1, 2018.

Award Committee

Bob Cronin
John Hodgen
Kent Lundquist
Rodger Martin - Committee Chair
Susan Elizabeth Sweeney


  • The Stanley Kunitz medal may be presented annually to a person with a strong Worcester County connection who best exemplifies Stanley Kunitz's lifelong commitment to poetry and poets.
  • The award was created to honor the total commitment to poetry in the way Kunitz exemplified it: teaching poetry, mentoring poets, speaking poetry, publishing poetry, and supporting organizations that nurture poetry.
  • The President of the WCPA will appoint a selection committee of five who will serve two years minimum. This Committee may or may not include members of the WCPA Board.
  • The Committee will develop a list of nominees including their qualifications for the award.
  • Members of the WCPA, staff of the Worcester Review, and all others with a strong interest in poetry, will be encouraged to nominate individuals.  Each year the Committee will choose the award from among the nominees.
  • Members of the Stanley Kunitz Medal Committee will not be eligible for the award.


Following Stanley Kunitz's death in 2006 a sum of money was given to the Worcester County Poetry Assocation for the purpose of creating an award in his name.  An endowment was created with the Greater Worcester Community Foundation in support of the award.  Additional fundraising took place to increase the fund to a level that would further support the award.

In 2013 a sub-committee of the WCPA board of directors set out to develop guidelines for the award.  The guidelines were accepted by the board in October 2013.  In 2014 K-Fai Steele was commissioned to create the bust image of Kunitz that is used on the award medal.  The first Kunitz Award Committee was formed in mid-2014 and the inaugural award was presented in 2015.

Photo Credit: Cheryl Richards
from the Collection of Carol Stockmal
Past Winners

Rodger Martin confers the Kunitz Medal on Mike TrueMike True acceptance speechThe Stanley Kunitz Medal Committee with 2015 recipient Mike True - Robert Steele, Susan Elizabeth Sweeney, Mike True, Edward "Bob" Cronin, Rodger Martin and John Hodgen.
Post event press

Additional  photos are available on the 2015 Event Archive page.
2015Michael D. True, PhD Broadsidepress releaseT&G coverage
Additional  photos are available on the 2016 Event Archive page.
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Past Committee Members

The WCPA wishes to thank the following individuals for serving on the Stanley Kunitz Medal Award in the past.

Robert Steele (2014 - 2016)
2017Carle Johnson   press release
Presentation of the Stanley Kunitz Medal to Carle Johnson

A 30-minute open reading celebrating Stanley Kunitz. followed by the poetry and remarks of the honoree.

Thursday, July 27, 2017  -  6:30 to 8:30 pm
Worcester Historical Museum, 30 Elm Street, Worcester