Creative Writing Program announces new fellows in fiction, poetry

Emory Report | March 9, 2015

Story image

Lydia Conklin (top), Creative Writing Fellow in Fiction, and Phillip B. Williams, Creative Writing Fellow in Poetry. Courtesy photos.

The Emory University Creative Writing program announces the Creative Writing Fellows in Fiction and Poetry for 2015-2017. The new Creative Writing Fellow in Fiction is Lydia Conklin and Phillip B. Williams is named the Creative Writing Fellow in Poetry.

"We are excited to welcome two very talented writers to campus," said Natasha Trethewey, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing and director of the Creative Writing Program. "They were chosen from a large and competitive pool of applicants based on the quality of their writing samples and teaching experience and philosophy." 

Lydia Conklin has received a Pushcart Prize, work-study scholarships from Bread Loaf, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Corporation of Yaddo, the James Merrill House, the Vermont Studio Center, Millay, Jentel, Lighthouse Works, Brush Creek, the Santa Fe Art Institute, Caldera, the Sitka Center, and Harvard University, among others, and grants and awards from the Astraea Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Alliance of Artists Communities, and the Council for Wisconsin Writers.

Her fiction has appeared in "The Southern Review," "Narrative Magazine," "New Letters," "The New Orleans Review" and elsewhere. She has drawn graphic fiction for "Gulf Coast," "Drunken Boat," "The Florida Review" and the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. She holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Phillip B. Williams is a Chicago native. He is the author of the forthcoming book of poems "Thief in the Interior" (Alice James Books, 2016). He has also co-authored a book of poems and conversations called "Prime" (Sibling Rivalry Press). He is a Cave Canem graduate and received scholarships from Bread Loaf Writers Conference and a 2013 Ruth Lilly Fellowship.

His work has appeared or is forthcoming in "Anti-," "Callaloo," "Kenyon Review Online," "Poetry," "The Southern Review," "West Branch" and others. Phillip received his MFA in Writing from the Washington University in St. Louis. He is the poetry editor of the online journal "Vinyl Poetry."

Their two-year terms begin on the first day of class for the new academic year, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015.

The Creative Writing Fellows program allows young writers with recent masters or doctoral degrees in creative writing to gain teaching experience, as well as time to finish a manuscript and submit it for publication. They teach three workshops per semester. Conklin and Williams also will give a joint reading on Monday, Nov. 16, 2015, as part of the Creative Writing Program Reading Series.

The undergraduate Creative Writing Program at Emory celebrates its 24th anniversary this year. Students approach the study of literature through their own creative writing, as well as by the more traditional method of critical analysis and reading. "USA Today" recently named Emory the number one school for "budding writers."