Former Tacoma poet laureate Tammy Robacker has won the Keystone Chapbook Poetry Prize.
Awarded by Seven Kitchens Press, a small poetry press in Pennsylvania, the prize goes annually to a poet with Pennsylvania connections. Robacker, who spent her early childhood in Meadville, Pennsylvania, won the prize with “Cuttings,” a body of work about her relationship with and loss of her Pennsylvania-born father.
Currently enrolled in the MFA creative writing program at Pacific Lutheran University, Robacker was poet laureate of Tacoma in 2010-11, and has been a Hedgebrook writer-in-residence (2011) and a Tacoma Artists Initiative Program grant recipient (2009). Her first poetry collection “The Vicissitudes” was published in 2009 (Pearle Publications), and her second, “Villain Songs,” is forthcoming in 2016 (ELJ Publications). She has also had work in numerous journals. Robacker lost her father to cancer in 2004, and “Cuttings” explores “the difficulties of that experience and loss and the bittersweet father-daughter relationship,” according to the press release.
The Keystone prize is judged by poet Deirdre O’Connor. Seven Kitchens will publish “Cuttings” this winter.