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The Frances Jaffer Poetry Prize


The Frances Jaffer Poetry Prize was initiated in 1999 in memory of the late poet Frances Jaffer and is given annually to an undergraduate student in Creative Writing at SFSU on the basis of the student’s outstanding innovative work. Ms. Jaffer was prominent as a poet and editor in the Bay Area literary community, and was influential particularly on a younger generation of women writers. 

Author of two books of poetry, She Talks to Herself in the Language of An Educated Woman (Kelsey St. Press, 1981) and Alternate Endings (HOW(ever), 1985), Frances Jaffer was a founding coeditor of HOW(ever), the San Francisco-based literary journal devoted to exploring historical and contemporary innovative writing by women.  A volume of the poetry of Frances Jaffer is being prepared for publication, edited by Kathleen Fraser and Rob Halpern.

Photo: left to right, Beverly Dahlen, Susan Gevirtz, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Frances Jaffer, Kathleen Fraser, editors of HOW(ever), c. 1983.

The Frances Jaffer Poetry Prize is funded through donations from friends of Frances Jaffer, and carries a cash prize. Candidates for the Jaffer Prize are nominated by SFSU faculty. No submissions accepted. Recipients include:

bullet2014 : Denise Massingill

bullet2013 : Chelsea Turowsky

bullet2012 : Marissa Carter

bullet2011 : Benjamin Lopez

bullet2010 : Alexander West

bullet2009 : Nicole Escobar

bullet2008 : Diana Ybarra

bullet2007 : Leslie Patron

bullet2006 : Christopher Girard

bullet2005 : Jose Villaran

bullet2004 : Unju Chi

bullet2003 : Hongyu Min

bullet2002 : John Sakkis

bullet2001 : Mary DeNardo

bullet2000 : Cynthia Sailers

Note: This prize is coordinated with financial aid awards and handled by the San Francisco State University Financial Aid Office.

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