Friday, September 2, 2011

Aspiring Poets Win $15 000 Scholarships

The Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine announced the five recipients of 2011 Ruth Lilly Fellowships: Olivia Clare, T. Zachary Cotler, Farnoosh Fathi, Alison Seay, and Marcus Wicker. Among the largest awards offered to aspiring poets in the United States, the $15,000 scholarship prize is intended to encourage the further study and writing of poetry.

The editors of Poetry magazine selected the winning manuscripts from more than 1,000 submissions. In announcing the winners, senior editor Don Share said, “Each year the competition grows larger—and stronger. We’re extremely pleased that the 2011 Ruth Lilly Fellowships will recognize this diverse and talented group of younger poets.” Editor Christian Wiman added, “The subjects and aesthetics of these writers are as various as their backgrounds, but there are two qualities they all share: excellence and promise. You’ll be hearing a lot from these writers in the years to come.”

Olivia Clare was born in New York and raised in Louisiana. She received a BA from UC Berkeley and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. T. Zachary Cotler was born in Passaic, New Jersey. He received a BA from Cornell University and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His first collection of poems is House with a Dark Sky Roof (2011), and he has just completed the novel Ghost at the Loom. Farnoosh Fathi was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, to Iranian parents and raised in California. She has a master’s degree from New York University and a PhD in creative writing and literature from the University of Houston. Allison Seay was born in Richmond, Virginia. She earned a BA from Mary Washington College (now University of Mary Washington) and an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she later worked as assistant director of the MFA program and associate editor of The Greensboro Review. Marcus Wicker was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He received a BA from Western Michigan University and an MFA from Indiana University. Marcus is a recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem and the Fine Arts Work Center.

These five emerging voices will be featured in Poetry magazine’s November issue and on The Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship program is organized and administered by the Poetry Foundation in Chicago, publisher of Poetry magazine.

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