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NO BITTER CHUCKLES NOW - AWARD BRINGS SWEET RELIEF

A man dubbed the "master of the bitter chuckle" has won this year's $50,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.

Thomas Lux, a member of the writing faculty at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y., and author of the 1994 book "Split Horizon," was presented with the award Monday at the Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, Calif.Jack Miles, a member of the Los Angeles Times editorial board who sat on the judges' panel, called Lux a "master of the bitter chuckle at just the wrong-right moment. He is a writer who has gambled and won by his refusal to be taken seriously," Miles said.

Many of Lux's poems deal with experiencing loneliness in a society that ignores individuality. The prize "relieves me of rather serious debt (a cloud under which it is difficult to write) and it will buy me time in order to work on some new poems," Lux said in a statement.