Friends of Writers has already begun plans to celebrate our 30th Anniversary in 2021. On this anniversary, we will recognize Ellen Bryant Voigt, our founder, for her remarkable contributions to American poetry, teaching, and innovation. We write today in the hope that you will give to the Ellen Bryant Voigt Scholarship Fund, which both honors Ellen and enables her work to continue. This scholarship fund is the best way we know to acknowledge and thank Ellen for the gifts she has given to the writing community. 

When fully endowed at $300,000, the EBV Scholarship Fund will provide substantial funding to be used to support a MFA studenttowards the completion of a thesis manuscript. Your contribution is an essential gift of time: to write, revise, and benefit from the guidance of an accomplished faculty. Thanks to you, we achieved our goal and raised more than $30,000 this spring. We are just $100,000 short of endowment, which, with the help of individual donors like you, we will reach by 2021.

Ellen founded the first low-residency MFA program for creative writers in 1976, knowing that there were many adults who had delayed the dream of going to graduate school for good reasons—family, work, health, and finances. We all know what it means to put a dream aside and what it requires to bring it to fruition. The EBV Fund will help students keep their dream right at the center of their lives, avoiding at least some of the delays that dilute it. I hope that you will the join FOW board members in giving the Gift of Time to another writer. 

FOW is committed to helping writers meet their potential through graduate study and provide support and resources through its website, multiple reading series, contest, and yearly conference. We support diversity and inclusivity through our scholarships and internships. We hope to make it possible for every writer to pursue graduate study in spite of financial disparity. 

In the spirit of the season, please help us honor Ellen’s lifework and FOW’s mission by endowing the Ellen Bryant Voigt Scholarship Fund, and give whatever you can so that we may award the first scholarship to a student in Ellen’s name in 2021. 

We wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy new year, and, most of all, the gift of time. 

Why There Are Words will host Friends of Writers for a Celebration reading in December.

Join Marcia Pelletiere, Patrick Martin, Katie Bowler Young, and Martha Rhodes for a reading at NYC’s Bowery Poetry Club on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 6 pm.

 

Only six weeks left until the deadline for the Larry Levis Prize! Don’t let them slip past without submitting. Please let Ashley Nissler know if you have any questions: https://friendsofwriters.submittable.com/submit

Join Friends of Writers in New York City on Saturday, April 27, 2019 for a very special evening in support of the

Ellen Bryant Voigt Scholarship for Writers

READINGS BY:

Natalie Baszile

Nathan McClain

Martha Rhodes

Eleanor Wilner

MUSIC BY:

Jeremy Bass

The Voigt scholarship helps fund an extra semester of graduate study in order to provide recipients a strong start toward a book-length manuscript.

More Deets coming soon to this blog and your email box.

 

An excerpt from “Sundowning” by Angela Narciso Torres (poetry, ’09) published at The Missouri Review:

SUNDOWNING

                                                     for my mother, Carmen

The sweetest meat clings to the bone,
  my mother says, knifing her steak.
Carmen. Silver spade on my tongue.

  Mahjong nights, her mother and father gone,
she cried herself to sleep. Blamed in the morning
  for her mother’s losing hand. Unlucky tears!

The sweetest meat—she begins
  at dinner, tearing off a chicken leg.
What will she recall by morning?

  Named for Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
she pinned brown scapulars under our shirts,
  wet stamps that cleaved to our skin.

Carmen. Prayer on the breath.
  Amid potted ferns, she works
a jigsaw puzzle. Bizet on the radio. […continue reading here]

Last April, it was a great privilege to be elected the new president of Friends of Writers, the organization I care most about—as an alumna of the program and a longtime board member. I follow the remarkable Ellen Bryant Voigt, exceptional poet, founder of the MFA Program for Writers, and innovative educator. To honor her legacy, we hope to further endow the fund that bears her name. With your help, Friends of Writers looks to raise $125,000 to reach our goal of $300,000: the critical point at which we can begin to draw upon the interest and distribute scholarships. 

Students in the MFA Program at Warren Wilson College created this scholarship fund when they heard that Ellen had been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. They wanted to celebrate her poetry and the program she founded, one that puts craft and community above all else. Need-based like all FOW awards, this fund supports a student for an extra semester, giving the recipient a strong start toward a book-length manuscript before graduation. I hope you will join the board in contributing whatever you can—we hope everyone will give. 

Why would anyone take an extra semester? When I was Ellen’s student, she wrote, “You have a chance to cement another way of thinking, a non-discursive apprehension of what the world gives us, with the primary outlet, for the expression of those realizations, being poetry. Every instinct I have as a teacher is to urge you to fan that flame and pursue it wherever it takes you.” I was so lucky to have her support then, a kind of support that we as a community can now join together to offer to others in need.  

Ideally, every writer would be able to afford the time to study her craft and fulfill her potential. However, the sad truth is we are further from that world than ever, and students’ need for financial aid has grown. I’m asking you to give this year as much as you can to the Ellen Bryant Voigt Scholarship Fund, or to another fund of your choice. Please know that every dollar goes directly to helping students who demonstrate financial need. 

Friends of Writers is dedicated to enriching American poetry and fiction, and to the rigorous study of our craft, which informs fine writing. Last year, we were able to award more than $70,000 in scholarships, increasing the diversity of students, and nurturing the innovation and excellence of an ever-greater writing community of alumni and students.

Please donate today to the Ellen Bryant Voigt Fund online at friendsofwriters.org, or use the pledge envelope enclosed! 

In gratitude,

Abigail Wender P ’08

President, Friends of Writers

PS: Keep in touch! If you’ve recently moved, send us your snail mail address and news about yourself. Please also sign up for our blog at our website. 

Tony Hoagland
 November 19, 1953 – October 23, 2018
You’ll never be complete, and that’s as it should be.
Inside you one vault after another opens endlessly.
Don’t be ashamed to be a human being– be proud.
                                                   -Tomas Tranströmer

The MFA Program for Writers mourns the passing of beloved poet and colleague Tony Hoagland, who joined the faculty in January 1993. He supervised the projects of more than 50 students over the next twenty-plus years. Many of his craft essays were first delivered at Warren Wilson MFA residencies. 

In September, Tony wrote of his time with our MFA program, “What a privilege it has been for me to share this passionate community of our art and Warren Wilson with so many others of that remarkable company of brave believers.” 

We’re braver for all Tony brought to this community. We’re grateful for his generosity and kindness, his sharp brilliance and humor, and for the indelible poems in which those distinctive qualities remain vitally present. 
At the program’s 35th anniversary in 2011, in a conversation with Robert Boswell, Tony concluded:
I have a foolish conviction that poetry is still important to the world, important to human nature, capable of making it deeper and better and more self-knowing…I haven’t found anything better to believe in…. It would be my next goal, as a writer of whatever genre, to learn how to write into the mystery completely.   
Here is “Into the Mystery.”   

 

Robert Boswell Interviews Tony Hoagland at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers

Tony Hoagland Interviews Robert Boswell at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers

Come one, come all Warren Wilson College MFA alumni with a first book manuscript ready to go! The submissions period for the Levis Prize has opened.
***Please note that you should not include your name anywhere in your personal statement or on your manuscript.

Two 2018 Levis Prizes of $5,000 for a First Book of Poetry
and First Book of Fiction

Two Larry Levis Post-Graduate Stipends, one in fiction and one in poetry, are given to support graduates of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers who are completing first books. Each 2018 award will be made to a writer in the amount of $5,000. Judges will be announced with the winning manuscripts.

Eligibility

The Levis Stipends are open only to alumni who have not yet published a full-length collection in the selected genre in a standard edition. A standard edition is defined as 150 or more pages in a print run of 1500 or more copies for fiction, and as 48 or more pages in a print run of 500 or more copies for poetry. Entrants to the competition must hold the MFA degree from Warren Wilson College. All alumni are eligible.

Guidelines

1. All submissions must be made via Submittable. An entry fee of $30 is required to process the application.

2. Include in your application a statement regarding how the award will be used, projected completion date of the book manuscript, and a list of publication credits.

3. Include a 40-page fiction manuscript or 20-page poetry manuscript. Document margins should be at least one inch; text should be in an easily readable 12-point typeface. Pages submitted beyond the page count will not be considered. Manuscripts are judged blindly; your name should not appear anywhere on your project statement or manuscript. If it does, your application will be disqualified and removed from consideration.

4. Submit your entry via Submittable. Do not use your name in the Submittable project title or filenames. (Your project title can be either the title of your manuscript or something like “Levis poetry manuscript.”) Label your attachments “cover letter” and “manuscript.” Both must be submitted as .pdf files.

Deadlines

·   Submissions will be accepted between September 1 and November 15, 2018.

·   Stipends will be awarded in January 2019. Stipends are fully taxable under United States tax laws, and Friends of Writers must declare the awards to the Internal Revenue Service. Taxes and payments of taxes are solely the responsibility of individual award winners.

About Larry Levis

Larry Levis (1946-1996) was an award-winning poet who wrote six books of poetry during his lifetime. His collection, Elegy, was published posthumously. A Selected Poems was published in 2000. The Darkening Trapeze, a collection of last poems, was published in 2016. Levis was a much-beloved member of the faculty at the MFA Program for Writers, cherished as much for his incisive mind as for the care and attention he gave to his students.

Any queries or requests for more information should be addressed to:

Ashley Nissler

Levis Fellowship Administrator

Levis[email protected]

Two 2018 Levis Prizes of $5,000 for a First Book of Poetry and First Book of Fiction

 

Two Larry Levis Post-Graduate Stipends, one in fiction and one in poetry, are given to support graduates of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers who are completing first books. Each 2018 award will be made to a writer in the amount of $5,000. Judges will be announced with the winning manuscripts.

Eligibility

The Levis Stipends are open only to alumni who have not yet published a full-length collection in the selected genre in a standard edition. A standard edition is defined as 150 or more pages in a print run of 1500 or more copies for fiction, and as 48 or more pages in a print run of 500 or more copies for poetry. Entrants to the competition must hold the MFA degree from Warren Wilson College. All alumni are eligible.

Guidelines

  1. All submissions must be made via Submittable. An entry fee of $30 is required to process the application.
  2. Include in your application a statement regarding how the award will be used, projected completion date of the book manuscript, and a list of publication credits.
  3. Include a 40-page fiction manuscript or 20-page poetry manuscript. Document margins should be at least one inch; text should be in an easily readable 12-point typeface. Pages submitted beyond the page count will not be considered. Manuscripts are judged blindly; your name should not appear anywhere on your project statement or manuscript. If it does, your application will be disqualified and removed from consideration.
  4. Submit your entry via Submittable. Do not use your name in Submittable project title or filenames. (Your project title can be either the title of your manuscript or something like “Levis poetry manuscript.”) Label your attachments “cover letter” and “manuscript.” Both must be submitted as .pdf files.

Deadlines

Submissions will be accepted between September 1 and November 15, 2018.

Stipends will be awarded in January 2019. Stipends are fully taxable under United States tax laws, and Friends of Writers must declare the awards to the Internal Revenue Service. Taxes and payments of taxes are solely the responsibility of individual award winners.

About Larry Levis

Larry Levis (1946-1996) was an award-winning poet who wrote six books of poetry during his lifetime. His collection, Elegy, was published posthumously. A Selected Poemswas published in 2000. The Darkening Trapeze, a collection of last poems, was published in 2016. Levis was a much-beloved member of the faculty at the MFA Program for Writers, cherished as much for his incisive mind as for the care and attention he gave to his students.

Any queries or requests for more information should be addressed to:

Ashley Nissler Levis Fellowship Administrator [email protected]

 

 

Faculty News & Updates

Daniel Tobin‘s “This Broken Symmetry” won the Stephen J. Meringoff Award in Poetry.  Read all about it here and here.

 

Kevin McIlvoy’s forthcoming novel, At the Gate of All Wonder (Tupelo Press, Sept. 2018) may be pre-ordered at tupelopress.org.

 

 

Liam Callanan celebrates the publication of his book, Paris by the Book  (Dutton, April 2018).

 

Lauren Groff’s  Floridaa collection of short stories, is available now.

 

Alumni News and Updates

Jayne Benjulian’s (poetry, ’13) poem “Frame” was short-listed for the 2017 Bridport Prize.

 

 

Lauren Alwan (fiction, ’08) is proud to share the news that her story, “An Amount of Discretion,” which appeared in The Southern Review (Winter 2017) has been awarded an O. Henry Prize for 2018, and will appear in the anthology this September, from Anchor, edited  by Laura Furman.

 

Dilruba Ahmed (poetry, ’09) has three poems in the recent Issue of The Asian American Literary Review.

 

Beverly Bie Brahic’s (poetry, ’06) new collection, The Hotel Eden, will be published by Carcanet in August 2018. She also has five translations of poems by the French poet Christophe Tarkos in the current issue of Modern Poetry in Translation.

 

Rachel Howard (fiction, ’06) is excited to announce the sale of her first novel, The Risk of Us, to be published in the Spring/Summer of 2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

 

Katherine Rooks (fiction, ’16) is happy to share that her story “One More Thing” has found a good home in Stone Canoe #12, published March 1 and only available in print.
Additionally, Stone Canoe have also awarded her The 2018 Robert Colley Prize for Fiction.

 

Joanne Dominique Dwyer (poetry, ’09) has a poem, “Decline in the Adoration of Jack-in-the-Pulpits,” i in the current issue of Kenyon Review.

She also have a poem in the  May/June issue of American Poetry Review. It’s titled “So, You Think I’m Afraid of You?” and appears on the back cover.

 

Kate Kaplan (fiction, ’17) has a short story, “Wine, Malibu” in the current issue of the New England Review (Vol 39, issue 1).

 

Kate Greathead (fiction, ’11) has a new book out,  Laura & Emma.