The Ellen Bryant Voigt Scholarship

In the fall of 2015 Ellen Bryant Voigt—poet, teacher and founder of the MFA Program for Writers—received a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. When current students heard the news, they began brainstorming ways to celebrate Ellen and to honor what she has done for poetry, for graduate writing education, and for this inimitable community. Their idea? Create a scholarship in her name.

In January 2016, a new FOW Scholarship was announced in Swannanoa at the graduation banquet—along with news of a substantial contribution by the graduating class. Endowed five years later, the Ellen Bryant Voigt Scholarship supports a poet in an extra semester of graduate study, giving recipients a strong start toward a book-length manuscript.

When the scholarship was announced, Ellen wrote: “The MacArthur Fellowship was such a lucky, lucky thing—providential, actually, especially in the timing of it—I never thought my gratitude and joy could be further amplified. But I was wrong. This effort, initiated by current students in the Program, students with busy lives and all sorts of impediments to doing their important work, moves me profoundly. I will be proud to have an endowed scholarship bearing my name.”