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Safia Elhillo has been awarded a 2018 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship. The Fellowship, which is given by The Poetry Foundation and its publication, Poetry magazine, is worth $25,800 for each recipient. The Sudanese poet, whose work was featured in the 2018 Winter Olympics, was chosen alongside four others: Hieu Minh Nguyen, sam sax, Natalie Scenters-Zapico, and Paul Tran. The five Fellows will make a joint appearance at the Dodge Poetry Festival in October, while their work will be featured in the December 2018 issue of Poetry.

Established by Ruth Lilly in 1989 for a single student recipient nominated by a university writing program, the program has since expanded to five spots. It is open to any U.S. poets between the ages of 21 and 31, regardless of whether or not they are affiliated with academic institutions. Previous Fellows include Fatimah Asghar, Danez Smith, Kaveh Akbar, Erika L. Sánchez, and Ocean Vuong.

“Our 2018 fellows created their own trails and important beautiful markers for those who will follow them into the future,” commented Don Share, editor of Poetry. “Each of these fellows energetically speaks to and contributes to the ever-increasing interest in contemporary poetry, especially among young people.”

“I am most excited, I think, by being in fellowship with this cohort of poets, all of whose writing and literary citizenship continue to teach me about bravery, about craft, about generosity,” said Safia Elhillo, who is a recipient of the Brunel Prize in 2015, the Sillerman Prize in 2016, and was shortlisted for the Brittle Paper Award for Poetry in 2017.

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Meanwhile, Safia Elhillo is co-editing the 20.35 Africa poetry anthology.

Brittle Paper congratulates Safia Elhillo.

Find out more HERE.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he is a judge for The Gerald Kraak Prize and was a judge for The Morland Writing Scholarship in 2019. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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