The Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine announced that UI alumna Wendy Xu is among the five recipients of the 2014 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships. Among the largest awards offered to aspiring poets in the United States, the $25,800 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.
“Each of this year’s winners is a poet whose work engages with the events that unfold before us every day,” said Don Share, editor of Poetry magazine, announcing the 2014 winners. “Their work resounds both on and off the page, and refreshes, as well as fulfills, the dictum that literature is news that stays news.”
Wendy Xu was born in Shandong, China, in 1987. She earned a BA in English in 2010 from the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst. Her debut collection, You Are Not Dead, was published in 2013 by the Cleveland State University Poetry Center, and her writing has appeared in The Best American Poetry, Hyperallergic, Gulf Coast, Denver Quarterly and elsewhere. Xu lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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. In 2013, the Poetry Foundation received a generous gift from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund to create the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships, which increased the fellowship amount from $15,000 to $25,800.
The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college comprising the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 16,000 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students study each year in the College’s 39 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college educates all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.