Just Buffalo Literary Center 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 and 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-fellowship.
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.