Yesterday the Poetry Foundation announced the five recipients of its 2009 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowships. U.S. poets Malachi Black, Eric Ekstrand, Chloë Honum, Jeffrey Schultz, and Joseph Spece, all under the age of thirty-one, received awards of fifteen thousand dollars each to "to use as they wish in continued study and writing of poetry."
The editors of Poetry magazine—including former Ruth Lilly fellow Christian Wiman, who now heads the journal—selected the winners from a pool of more than five hundred and fifty applications. Poems by each of the fellows will appear in the November issue.
The fellowship program, now in its twentieth year, once gave a single award annually to a poet nominated by a university writing program. It has since expanded to offer five awards, and has opened its doors to entries from all U.S. poets between the ages of twenty-one and thirty-one. Guidelines for entry into next year’s fellowship competition will be available on the Poetry Foundation’s Web site in February 2010.
The fellows since the award's inception, many of whom have gone on to publish, teach, and edit literary magazines and small press publications, are:
1989 Saskia Hamilton
1990 Cathy Wagner
1991 Gregory A. Sellers
1992 James Kimbrell
1993 Davis McCombs
1994 Christian Wiman
1995 Matt D. Collinsworth
1996 Erin G. Brooks, Zarina Mullan Plath
1997 Delisa Mulkey, W. Morri Creech
1998 Christine Stewart, Robin Cooper-Stone
1999 Kevin Meaux, Maudelle Driskell
2000 Christina Pugh, Wayne Miller
2001 Ilya Kaminsky, Alissa Leigh
2002 Emily Rosko, Marc Bittner
2003 Katherine Larson, Kathleen Rooney
2004 Nathan Bartel, Emily Moore
2005 Michael McGriff, Miller Oberman
2006 Colin Cheney, David Krump
2007 Sean Brian Bishop, Megan Grumbling
2008 Nicky Beer, Roger Reeves, Michael Rutherglen, Alison Stine, Caki Wilkinson