Prizes and Fellowships Awarded in Spring 2014

Academy of American Poets Prize

Simone Wolff, a first year graduate student in poetry, has won the 2014 Academy of American Poets Prize for her poem, “Semper Augustus.” Second year graduate student in poetry, Edgar Kunz, won honorable mention for his poem,   “Dundalk.”  Poet David Wojahn was the judge.

The Writing Studio MFA Graduate Consultant Prize

Ann Silverstein, first year MFA student in fiction, and Alicia Brandiwie, first year MFA student in poetry, split the Writing Studio MFA Graduate Consultant Prize.

The Sedberry Prize for Poetry

Sara Strong, second year MFA student in poetry, won the Sedberry Prize.

The Guy Goffe Means Prize for Fiction

Reid Douglass, second year MFA student in fiction, won the Guy Goffe Means Prize.

The Merrill Moore Prizes

Corey Kollbocker, a senior in Arts and Sciences, won the Merrill Moore Prize for Fiction, and Malcolm Friend, also a senior in Arts and Sciences, won the Merrill Moore Prize for Poetry.

Third Year Fellowships in the MFA Program

Ann Charlton, second year MFA student in poetry, has been appointed Curb Creative Writing Fellow for 2014-15;  and Edgar Kunz and Lee Conell have been named Third Year Fellows in Creative Writing, Department of English, for 2014-2015, Kunz in poetry and Conell in fiction.

Recent MFA grads receive Pushcart Prize special mentions

Short stories by two recent MFA graduates, Claire Burgess (MFA 2011) and Matt Baker (MFA 2012), received special mention in the 2014 Pushcart Prize anthology; Burgess’ “Upper Middle Class Houses,” originally appeared in Third Coast, and Baker’s  “A Cruel Gap-Toothed Boy,” in Missouri Review.

Recent MFA grad, Kendra DeColo, wins 2013 Saturnalia Book Award

Kendra DeColo

Kendra DeColo, who received her MFA from Vanderbilt in 2011, has won the 2013 Saturnalia Book Award for her first collection of poetry.   DeColo’s book, Crooked Hope, will be published by Saturnalia Books and will receive a $2,000 award.  Poet Yusef Komunyakaa was the judge.

Kate Daniels awarded Guggenheim

Poet Kate Daniels, Director of the Creative Writing Program, has been awarded a Guggenheim fellowship for 2013-2014.

Daniels, professor of English, will devote part of her fellowship to writing new poems based on archival research into the records of Eastern State Hospital. Established in Virginia in 1770 as The Public Hospital for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds, Eastern State Hospital, which remains in operation today, was the first public institution for the mentally ill in the United States.

“Part of my interest in capturing this subject matter is related to two of my classes: ‘The Art of Medical Writing’ and ‘Why Write: Perspectives on Literary Creativity,’” Daniels said. “Both of these investigate poetic language, literary creativity, and the psychology of creative writers.”

Daniels will also be considering through poetry the many connections between medicine/illness/health care and creative writing. She will focus in particular on bipolar disease, including its prevalence among poets, and she will be looking for new ways of understanding the role of bipolar disease in linguistic creativity and literary production.

Daniels, who directs Vanderbilt’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, is an affiliated faculty member in the Center for Medicine, Health and Society. She previously served as associate dean in the College of Arts and Science. She earned her master’s degree from the University of Virginia, as well as a master of fine arts degree from Columbia University. Recent poems of Daniels, who came to Vanderbilt in 1994, have been published in Best American Poetry 2010 and Best American Poetry 2008. Her books include A Walk in Victoria’s Secret (LSU 2010), Four Testimonies (LSU, 1998) and The Niobe Poems (Pittsburgh, 1989). She has received the Pushcart Prize, the James Dickey Prize and the Fellowship of Southern Writers’ Hanes Award for Poetry, among others.



Recent MFA grad, Matthew Baker, wins Fulbright to Ireland

Matthew Baker, who came to Vanderbilt with the MFA class of 2011, is currently a Fulbright Fellow in Ireland, where he is working on a novel.  While at Vanderbilt, he launched the online literary magazine, Nashville Review; he held a Third Year Fiction Fellowship in 2011-2012.

His fiction has appeared in such publications as American Short FictionNew England ReviewThe Kenyon Review, Ninth Letter, Meridian, Conjunctions, RedividerColorado Review, Denver QuarterlyHayden’s Ferry Review, and Best Of The Net. He also serves as translator for an “interlinked novel” titled The Numberless, a “randomized novella” titled Kaleidoscope, and an “intentionally posthumous” serialized novel titled Afterthought.   He has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the Blue Mountain Center.