Altoona professor wins Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley is a professor of English at Penn State Altoona.

Credit: Penn State

ALTOONA, Pa. — Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, professor of English at Penn State Altoona, has been selected as the 2023 recipient of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award from Saginaw Valley State University.

Three judges, selected by the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, were unanimous in their decision to award the $10,000 prize to Wesley for her 2020 collection "Praise Song for My Children: New and Collected Poems."

The prize is given for a book published in the previous three years that has made an important contribution to American poetry. Past recipients of the award include Howard Nemerov, Richard Hugo, Carolyn Kizer, Carl Phillips, and Douglas Kearney.

Wesley is invited to Saginaw Valley State University in March to engage in poetry-related activities on campus and to accept the award in person at an evening ceremony.

Wesley is the author of several critically acclaimed books of poetry and her poems, short stories, and creative nonfiction articles have appeared in magazines and anthologies, including “Harvard Review,” “Harvard Divinity Review,” “Transition,” “Prairie Schooner,” “The New York Times Magazine,” and “Cutthroat.”