For Immediate Release

2013 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship Winners Announced

$75,000 in prizes awarded to five young poets

September 5, 2013

CHICAGO — The Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine are pleased to announce the five recipients of 2013 Ruth Lilly Fellowships: Harmony Holiday, Matthew Nienow, Hannah Sanghee Park, Natalie Shapero and Phillip B. Williams. 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 and is open to all U.S. poets between 21 and 31 years of age.

“Since Harriet Monroe's founding of Poetry in 1912, to Ruth Lilly's endowment of these fellowships in 1989, to our constant search for fresh new voices today, Poetry has always sought work that enlivens our sense of what poetry is worth and what it can do,” said Don Share, editor of Poetry magazine, in announcing the 2013 winners. “This year's group of fellows—which includes poets whose passions range from community service to woodworking to scholarship—is especially inspiring because their extraordinary talents are so deeply informed by the way in which they have composed their lives.”

Harmony Holiday was born in Waterloo, Iowa and educated at the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University. Her debut collection of poems, Negro League Baseball (Fence, 2011), won the Fence Books Motherwell Prize. Go Find your Father/A Famous Blues, a “dos-a-dos” book featuring poetry, letters and essays, is due out from Ricochet Editions in fall 2013. Holiday lives in New York City.

Matthew Nienow was born in Los Angeles in 1983 and spent most of his youth in Seattle. He holds an MFA from the University of Washington and a degree in Traditional Small Craft from the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding. His work has appeared in Beloit Poetry JournalNew England Review, Poetry and two editions of the Best New Poets anthology (2007 and 2012). He has received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Elizabeth George Foundation and Artist Trust, among others. He lives with his wife and two sons in Port Townsend, Washington where he builds boats and custom wooden paddle boards.

Hannah Sanghee Park was born in Tacoma, Washington in 1986. She earned a BA from the University of Washington and an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her chapbook, Ode Days Ode, was published by the Catenary Press in 2011. She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the Fulbright Program, 4Culture, the Iowa Arts Council/National Endowment for the Arts and the MacDowell Colony. Her work is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2013 and Poetry Northwest. Park lives in Los Angeles and is currently studying at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Natalie Shapero was born in Chester, Pennsylvania in 1982. She received a BA from the Johns Hopkins University, an MFA from the Ohio State University and a JD from the University of Chicago Law School. She is the author of the poetry collection No Object (Saturnalia, 2013) and her writing has appeared in The Believer, The New Republic, Poetry, The Progressive and elsewhere. Shapero is a 2012-2014 Kenyon Review fellow at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.

Phillip B. Williams was born 1986 in Chicago. He is the author of the chapbooks Bruised Gospels (Arts in Bloom Inc., 2011) and Burn (YesYes Books, 2013). Williams is a Cave Canem graduate and the poetry editor of the online journal Vinyl Poetry. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo, Kenyon Review Online, The Southern Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, West Branch, Blackbird and others. Williams is currently a Chancellor’s Graduate fellow at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and is working on his MFA in creative writing.

These five emerging voices will be featured in Poetry magazine’s November issue and on www.poetryfoundation.org.

The Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship program is organized and administered by the Poetry Foundation in Chicago, publisher of Poetry magazine.

Note: In 2014, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowships will become the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowships and the current $15,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship prize amount will nearly double. This increase is the result of a generous gift from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund.

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About the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship Program
Established in 1989 by Ruth Lilly to encourage the further writing and study of poetry, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship program has dramatically expanded since its inception. Until 1995, university writing programs nationwide each nominated one student poet for a single fellowship; from 1996 until 2007, two fellowships were awarded. In 2008 the competition was opened to all U.S. poets between 21 and 31 years of age, and the number of fellowships increased to five, totaling $75,000.

About Poetry Magazine
Founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. Monroe’s “Open Door” policy, set forth in Volume 1 of the magazine, remains the most succinct statement of Poetry’s mission: to print the best poetry written today, in whatever style, genre, or approach. The magazine established its reputation early by publishing the first important poems of T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, H.D., William Carlos Williams, Carl Sandburg and other now-classic authors. In succeeding decades it has presented—often for the first time—works by virtually every major contemporary poet.

About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative partnerships, prizes and programs. For more information, please visit poetryfoundation.org.

POETRY FOUNDATION | 61 West Superior Street | Chicago, IL 60654 | 312.787.7070

Media contacts:
Elizabeth Burke-Dain, eburkedain@poetryfoundation.org, 312.799.8016
Kristin Gecan, kgecan@poetryfoundation.org, 312.799.8065

 

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