Every year since 1987, the Sewanee Review has honored a distinguished poet in the maturity of their career with the Aiken Taylor Award in Modern American Poetry. Established by the physician and poet K. P. A. Taylor in honor of his elder brother, the modernist poet and story writer Conrad Aiken, the Aiken Taylor Award has celebrated poets such as Howard Nemerov, Gwendolyn Brooks, Wendell Berry, Louise Glück, and Billy Collins. In 2017 the Award was given to Mary Ruefle, who visited the University of the South for a reading and a lecture on her work by the poet Michael Dickman.
The Sewanee Review also honors the best work published in the magazine’s pages every year with five awards. The Tate, Lytle, and Spears Prizes are named for distinguished former editors of the Sewanee Review; the Heilman and Sullivan Awards are named for longtime contributors to and friends of the magazine. Each winner receives five hundred dollars.
The Allen Tate Prize for the best poem published in 2017 is awarded to Donika Kelly for “Self-Portrait as a Body, as a Sea” (fall issue).
The Andrew Lytle Prize for the best story published in 2017 is awarded to Alexander Maksik for “The Old Masters” (summer issue).
The Monroe K. Spears Prize for the best essay published in 2017 is awarded to Alice McDermott for “Only Connect” (spring issue).
The Robert B. Heilman Award for the best review published in 2017 is awarded to Merritt Moseley for “On The 2016 Man Booker Prize” (spring issue).
And the Walter Sullivan Award, given to a promising writer in any genre, is awarded to Sidik Fofana for “The Okiedoke” (winter issue).