A former Baltimore factory worker has won one of the richest prizes for poetry awarded in the United States, and Pittsburgh’s Yona Harvey has won a promising poet award, the Associated Press reports.
Claremont Graduate University in Southern California announced Wednesday that 62-year-old Afaa 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 goes annually to a mid-career poet.
The competition’s chief judge, Chase Twichell, called Weaver’s life story “truly remarkable.” Born in Baltimore in 1951, Weaver served in the Army for two years and worked in a factory for 15, writing poems all the while, before leaving for a scholarship at Brown University and releasing his first book of verse in 1985.
“He essentially invented himself from whole cloth as a poet,” Twichell said.
“The Government of Nature,” Weaver’s 12th book, uses elements of Chinese spiritualism to deal with themes of the poet’s childhood.
Harvey is the recipient of a prize of $10,000, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, given annually for a first book by a poet of promise.
The Kingsley Tufts award was established by Kate Tufts, the widow of a Los Angeles shipyard executive whose avocation was writing poetry.
This year’s awards ceremony will be held April 10.
“Jeopardy!” champ Arthur Chu, who won big money while taking heat for his renegade style, has been defeated, People reports.
Chu finished in third place with zero dollars on Wednesday’s edition of the syndicated quiz show. He had reigned for 12 days. His total winnings were $297,200.
“A great run,” summed up host Alex Trebek.
Chu was unseated by Diana Peloquin of Ann Arbor, Mich., who led for the day with $15,700.
Chu had struggled for much of the show when, in Final Jeopardy, he risked, and lost, his entire day’s bankroll — $6,400 — on the answer: “He was the last male monarch who had not previously been Prince of Wales.”
Only Peloquin had the correct response: Who is George VI.
The 30-year-old Chu, a resident of Broadview Heights, Ohio, has described himself on Twitter as “mad genius, comedian, actor and freelance voiceover artist.”
He applied a “mad genius” approach to “Jeopardy!” brinkmanship. He ditched the time-honored practice of polishing off each category’s questions one by one. Instead, he took a hopscotch approach to his category choices, which tended to keep his opponents off-kilter.
He also concluded that the bottom rows of the game board are most likely to contain the hidden Daily Doubles, and he played accordingly.
Chu’s strategy fueled indignation from “Jeopardy!” traditionalists, who contended that such an aggressive style was somehow unsportsmanlike and exhibited a lack of respect for the game.
He “rejected the unwritten rule that the guy or gal with the most facts wins,” said “On the Media” host Brooke Gladstone on an episode of the public radio show last month, “and replaced it with the appalling idea that you can outwit your opponent with the wily application of game theory.”
It was a style much different from that of legendary know-it-all Ken Jennings, who a decade ago set a “Jeopardy!” record with 74 consecutive victories while winning $2.5 million.
One of the stray puppies adopted by Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy has died, People reports.
A stray female that he named Sochi passed away before getting to the U.S. for medical treatment, the silver medalist’s friend Robin Macdonald announced on Twitter.
“No words can explain what has happened here, good bye little guy, we will miss you,” along with a pic of Kenworthy holding Sochi.
Macdonald, who’d stayed behind in Russia to finalize the paperwork for the mama dog and four pups that Kenworthy, 22, found on the streets of Sochi, explained in another tweet that she died after authorities “refused to let me bring her to get treatment.”
Macdonald and the remaining dogs — Jake, Rosa, Mishka, Mom and Stryder — set off for Denver on Tuesday.
Kenworthy said on “Today” last month that he planned to keep two of the puppies, and another would go to his brother and his fiancee, and the mom would be adopted by Kenworthy’s mother.
Fueled by the Oscars, ABC’s “Good Morning America” is celebrating its most-watched week in nearly 23 years, the AP reports.
The Nielsen company said Thursday that ABC’s morning show averaged 6.3 million viewers last week, the most since the company began keeping electronic records in 1991. ABC’s Monday telecast from Los Angeles the morning after the Academy Awards had nearly 7.2 million people watching the show.
The big week helped “GMA” regain some momentum from NBC’s “Today” show, which had won its morning-show competition for two weeks during the Olympics. Nielsen said last week that “Good Morning America” averaged 988,000 more viewers than “Today.”
Just when newly single Khloe Kardashian was beginning to get her life back on track, her Tarzana, Calif., home was burglarized on March 3. Shortly after, it was revealed that $50,000 in cash had also been stolen from sister Kourtney’s Calabasas, Calif., home, People reports.
Now, reports have surfaced that the burglaries may have been an inside job, with crew members on the family’s hit E! reality show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” being questioned.
“Who we think [committed these crimes] is all part of the ongoing investigation,” LAPD Officer Wendy Reyes tells People. “We have not been making any comments as far as that’s concerned.”
However, a source close to both Kardashian sisters says the two believe it was indeed someone who had intimate knowledge of both homes: “They think it had to have been someone close.”
More than $250,000 of jewelry was stolen from Khloe’s home, which has remained largely empty while she and estranged husband Lamar Odom proceed with their divorce.
Law-enforcement sources told TMZ, who first reported the thefts, that only very expensive items were taken and there were no signs of forced entry.
Reps for E! and the show’s production company, Bunim/Murray, have yet to comment.