NEW YORK — A Cincinnati-based poet is this year’s winner of the Walt Whitman Award for a debut book.

The Academy of American Poets told The Associated Press on Thursday that Emily Skaja was cited for “Brute,” which comes out in April. The academy will purchase thousands of copies for it members. Skaja will receive $5,000 and a six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy. Whitman Award judge Joy Harjo praised “Brute” as a compelling “howl” over the end of a relationship.

Skaja is associate poetry editor of the Southern Indiana Review and is working on a Ph.D. in creative writing and literature at the University of Cincinnati.

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