Each year, Just Buffalo Literary Center invites adult poets of all ages and stages of their career to apply for its Poetry Fellowship, which gives one talented writer a cash stipend to live and write in one of the nation’s most vibrant literary cities, plus an opportunity to read at an event curated by Just Buffalo Literary Center. Here are the winners and finalists.
Keith S. 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. Additionally, he has received fellowships or grants from Bread Loaf, Tin House, the MacDowell Colony, Vermont Studio Center, UCross, the Millay Colony, and James Merrill House, among others. Keith was a Gregory Djanikian Scholar, and his poetry has won the Rumi Prize and been anthologized in Best New Poets and Best of the Net. His book, Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love (Copper Canyon), was recognized by the New York Times as a best new book of poetry.
Keith’s nonfiction has won an Indiana Review Nonfiction Prize and the Redivider Blurred Line Prize, and has been anthologized in the award-winning collection Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy. His poetry and prose have appeared in Elle, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, and Crab Orchard Review, among others.
Keith’s work in game design includes “Once Upon a Tale,” a storytelling card game designed for Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago in collaboration with The Field Museum of Chicago, and alternate reality games (ARGs) for the University of Chicago. He has worked with or taught new media with Kenyon College, the Field Museum, the Adler Planetarium, and the University of Chicago.
Mary-Kim Arnold is the author of the poetry collection The Fish & The Dove (Noemi Press, 2020) and Litany for the Long Moment (Essay Press, 2018), an experimental memoir of her adoption from Korea. Other writing has appeared in such publications as Conjunctions, Hyperallergic, Poem-a-Day, The Georgia Review, The Denver Quarterly, and The Rumpus, among others. She teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program at Brown University and in the Newport MFA at Salve Regina University.
NOVA CYPRESS BLACK aka KING NOVA aka DJ TENDER TOP is the quiet one yo mama warned you about. A Black queer supremacist. Existentially tired & 100% over being realistic. They write, rap, dance, choreograph, teach, direct & mind they business. This introvert is a slant rhyme. gold cutlery. a fistful of sunflower seeds.
Armen Davoudian’s poems and translations from Persian appear in AGNI, Narrative, The Sewanee Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook, Swan Song, won the 2020 Frost Place Chapbook Competition and is forthcoming from Bull City Press. He grew up in Isfahan, Iran and is currently a PhD candidate in English at Stanford University.
Benjamin Garcia’s first collection, THROWN IN THE THROAT (Milkweed Editions, August 2020), was selected by Kazim Ali for the 2019 National Poetry Series. He works as a Sexual Health and Harm Reduction Educator throughout the Finger Lakes region of New York. His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in: AGNI, American Poetry Review, Foglifter, Kenyon Review, and New England Review.
Michael Prior is a Nikkei writer and teacher. He is the author of Burning Province (McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House, 2020) and Model Disciple (Véhicule Press, 2016). His poems have appeared in The New Republic, Narrative, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, The Margins, PN Review, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, among other publications. Michael holds graduate degrees from the University of Toronto and Cornell University. He divides his time between Saint Paul, MN, and Vancouver, B.C.