With so much going on in the world today, the written world has a special power in bringing people together, inciting action, and invoking emotion. The more things change, the more we need to cling to these powerful works which inform so much of our culture and the way we understand the world. Just Buffalo Literary Center’s Poetry Fellowship award brings our attention to writers whose work helps us do just that. Read about the first ever recipient of this award, and be sure to check out some of his work.
Just Buffalo Literary Center (JBLC) today announced the winner of the 2020 Poetry Fellowship: Keith S. Wilson. Wilson is a game designer, an Affrilachian Poet, and a Cave Canem fellow. He is a recipient of an NEA Fellowship, an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, and an Illinois Arts Council Agency Award, and has received both a Kenyon Review Fellowship and a Stegner Fellowship. Wilson’s book Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love (Copper Canyon Press) was recognized by the New York Times as a best poetry book of 2019.
“From a pool of so many impressive applications, Wilson’s stood out as truly stellar in every way,” said Barbara Cole, JBLC’s Artistic & Associate Executive Director. “His poems grapple with America’s legacy of violence while holding a place for beauty, interrogating familiar tropes in fresh ways. Wilson asks tough questions, mixes mourning with musicality, and perhaps best of all, inspires you to go back and read each poem again and again, each time discovering something new. We’re so proud to name Keith S. Wilson as the first Just Buffalo Literary Center Poetry Fellow.”
In addition to naming Wilson as winner, five poets were recognized as finalists from the pool of over 100 applicants. The 2020 finalists (in alphabetical order) are:
The Just Buffalo Literary Center Poetry Fellowship seeks to advance the career of an individual poet as well as raise Buffalo’s visibility as a literary city on a national level. More information about the fellowship, as well as this year’s winner and finalists, can be found at justbuffalo.org/poetry-
About Just Buffalo Literary Center
Just Buffalo Literary Center’s mission is to create and strengthen communities through the literary arts. For more than 40 years, the organization has brought the world’s greatest writers to Buffalo, hosted poetry events and readings, and supported the development of young writers. For more information, visit justbuffalo.org.