The Hoyt Jacobs Poetry Prize Fund

On Saturday, January 17, the Queens College community suffered a loss felt by many.  Hoyt Jacobs, beloved poet, friend, and teacher, was killed in a bicycle accident.  Hoyt earned his M.F.A. in poetry from Queens College several years ago.  During his time at Queens, Hoyt also taught as an adjunct professor for the English Department.  While Hoyt achieved a great deal at Queens College and beyond, the true content of his character was witnessed through his personality.  Nothing seemed all that bad when you were talking to Hoyt.  He'd crack a joke, shoot you a smile, and in that moment, everything - everything - seemed like it was going to be just fine.  He had his finger on the pulse not just of pop culture, but of the human experience, and all of that came through into his poetry.

Thus, in our torrential brainstorming of ways to honor this man, this talent, one idea prevailed: a Hoyt Jacobs Poetry Prize.  This prize will be awarded at Queens College to a student that shows excellence in poetry.  Professor and poet Nicole Cooley will facilitate the awarding of this honor each academic year.  The award will bear Hoyt's name so that future poets can know Hoyt as we do: kind, talented, life-changing.

In order to get this off the ground, though, we need funding.  The goal here is set at $3,000; however, *any* money raised will go straight into a fund at Queens College to ensure that this award can be given in perpetuity.  Gofundme.com is a platform that allows us to raise more (or less) than our goal and keep whatever we earn.  This is important because, should we find ourselves outdoing our goal (fingers crossed!), we will have more money to ensure more years in which the Hoyt Jacobs Prize will be awarded.  This is all to say: let's honor Hoyt by keeping his writing, and his generosity, alive through this prize.  If you knew Hoyt, if you know poets, if you know the dangers of cycling, if you want to take an active role in the encouragement of future writers, please, contribute.  

The final words, here, should be Hoyt's.  The following is a poem of his, written at Queens College.  It is titled, "On the Dangers of Reading Living Poets More Talented Than Oneself":

I am smoking cigarettes again

my arms on the window sill the smoke
trailing back inside My neighbor
is in the garden on her phone A transparent moth
looks through the downstairs window

Between breaths I read Craig Arnold
who for the five minutes I knew him
seemed so sincere smiled when told
how I’d loved his book

Forever is an awfully long time
Forever Craig Arnold is trapped in a volcano

Let’s consider the use
of the second person
address in Asunder

Today I miss you terribly.

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Organizer

Jonathan Alexandratos 
Organizer
Astoria, NY
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