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Hey Ya: Young Poets Break It Down

The Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine are pleased to announce the five recipients of the 2015 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships: Nate Marshall, Erika L. Sanchez, Danniel Schoonebeek, Safiya Sinclair, and Jamila Woods.

Among the largest awards offered to young poets in the United States, the $25,800 prize is intended to encourage the further study and writing of poetry and is open to all US poets between 21 and 31 years of age.

"Our winners this year are five poets who are accomplished in the most capacious and meaningful sense of the word," says Don Share, editor of Poetry magazine.

"They are not only gifted writers but also keen educators, activists, leaders in their communities. Each of these distinctive and skillful people, both at and away from the writing desk, is devoted to illuminating us in significant and inspiring ways."


Nate Marshall's first book, Wild Hundreds (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015), won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. He is a co-editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (2015). He is a visiting assistant professor at Wabash College, a founding member of the Dark Noise poetry collective, and a Cave Canem fellow.


Erika L. Sanchez is a CantoMundo fellow and winner of the 2013 Discovery/Boston Review Prize. She has received scholarships from the Fulbright Program and Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Her nonfiction has been published in Al Jazeera, Cosmopolitan, the Guardian, NBC News, Rolling Stone, Salon, and many others. Sanchez lives in Chicago.


Danniel Schoonebeek's American Barricade (YesYes Books, 2014) was named one of the year's 10 standout debuts by Poets & Writers. Schoonebeek hosts the Hatchet Job reading series in Brooklyn and has served as editor of the PEN Poetry Series since 2013. His second book, a travelogue called C'est la guerre, is forthcoming from Poor Claudia in 2015.


Safiya Sinclair was born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and earned her MFA in poetry at the University of Virginia. Her first full-length collection, Cannibal (University of Nebraska Press, 2016), won a Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. She is currently pursuing a PhD in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California, where she is a Dornsife doctoral fellow.


Poet, singer, and teaching artist Jamila Woods has been called "a modern-day Renaissance woman" by the Chicago Sun-Times. She is the associate artistic director of Young Chicago Authors and a founding member of its Teaching Artist Corps. Woods is a member of Dark Noise, a collective of poets and educators of color, and the frontwoman of the Chicago-based soul music duo M&O. She lives in Chicago.


Comments welcome.


Posted on September 3, 2015

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