2013 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship Winners Announced

$75,000 in prizes awarded to five young poets

Congratulations to 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.

“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.” —Don Share, editor of Poetry magazine.

Librarians, keep your eyes on these new talents; celebrate their achievements.

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 Blackbird, Callaloo, Kenyon Review Online, Painted Bride Quarterly, The Southern Review, West Branch 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.

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



Annalisa Pesek About Annalisa Pesek

Annalisa Pesek (apesek@mediasourceinc.com) is Assistant Managing Editor, LJ Book Review
[photograph by John Sarsgard]