The gift — the largest received by the foundation since Ruth Lilly's historic gift in 2002 — will be used to nearly double the $15,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship prize, which each year is awarded to five poets age 31 and younger who have demonstrated exceptional promise. To be renamed the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship, the first of the enhanced prizes will be awarded in 2014.
Established by Marvin Rosenberg, a playwright and Shakespeare scholar, in memory of his wife, herself a poet, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Annual Poetry Prize has been awarded to more than three hundred and fifty poets since 2004, with prize amounts ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. This year's Rosenberg Poetry Prize contest will be the last administered by the Rosenbergs' children.
"Now it is time for the balance of Marvin's bequest to be deployed in a long-lasting way for the benefit of young poets," said Barr Rosenberg, the couple's son and trustee of the fund. "We are delighted to make this gift on Marvin's behalf to the Poetry Foundation, so that the funds can continue to be dedicated to Marvin's long-held dream of giving encouragement and substantial financial support to promising young writers."