CLAREMONT, Calif. (AP) — A former Baltimore factory worker has won some life-changing money. Not from the lottery, but for poetry.
Claremont Graduate University in Southern California announced Wednesday that 62-year-old Afaa (OFF'-uh) Michael Weaver of Somerville, Mass., has won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for his book of verse "The Government of Nature."
The prize, one of the richest handed out for poetry in the U.S., goes annually to a mid-career poet.
The competition's chief judge, Chase Twichell, called Weaver's life story "remarkable."
Born in Baltimore in 1951, Weaver served in the Army for two years and worked in a factory for 15 before reinventing himself as a poet in the 1980s.
The book, his 12th, describes his traumatic childhood.