Wednesday, August 8, 2012

More info on the Wyoming Arts Council poetry fellowships

On Monday, the Wyoming Arts Council announced the recipients of this year’s creative writing fellowships in poetry. Here is some additional information on the three winners and two honorable mentions.

The three winning poets are Matt Daly and Claudia Mauro of Jackson and W. Dale Nelson of Laramie. They each will receive a $3,000 award plus a $500 stipend to travel to Casper to read their work at the annual fellowship reading on Sept. 14 at the Equality State Book Festival. They will be joined at the reading by fellowship judge Brian Turner, a soldier-poet who is the author of two poetry collections, Here, Bullet and Phantom Noise.

The fellowship judge also selected two writers for honorable mentions. They are Michael McIrvin of Cheyenne and Kristen Gunther of Laramie.

Matt Daly is the author of Wild Nature and the Human Spirit: A Field Guide to Journal Writing in Nature. His poetry, short fiction and essays have been published in To Everything on Earth, Stories of the Wild and Ahead of Their Time: Wyoming Voices for Wilderness. He grew up in Jackson Hole, teaches creative writing workshops for tweens, teens, and adults, and is a member of the Wyoming Arts Council's artist roster.

Claudia Mauro is founder and director of Whit Press, which publishes work by writers from ethnic, economic and social minorities, young writers and first-time authors. Before moving to Wyoming, she worked for nearly 20 years as a marine science tech and a backcountry pilot in support of private and public environmental projects in Alaska. She's published two poetry collections: Stealing Fire and Reading the River.

W. Dale Nelson’s poetry has been published in The New Yorker, The Nation and other magazines in the U.S., Australia and Canada. Finishing Line Press in Kentucky is publishing his chapbook, Range of Motion. He won a WAC poetry fellowship in 2004 and was the recipient of a 2010 Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award for Nature Writers.

Michael McIrvin is the author of five poetry collections, including Optimism Blues: Poems Selected and New from Cedar Hill Publications, an essay collection and two novels. He's a free-lance editor. Kristen Gunther was born in Maryland and has called southeast Wyoming her home since 2009. She's a recent graduate of the University of Wyoming’s MFA program in creative writing. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cutbank and High Country News and has aired on Wyoming Public Radio.

This is the 27th year for the creative writing fellowships sponsored by the Wyoming Arts Council. Next year’s category will be creative nonfiction. Applications will be available in spring 2013.

For more information, contact Michael Shay at 307-777-5234 or

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