Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Detroit poet Vievee Francis gets 2009 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award

Congrats to Vievee Francis for receiving a 2009 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award. Vie and the five other recipients will get $25,000 Sept. 24 at a reception in New York. Sweet.

I had the pleasure of working with Vie at the University of Michigan as we both persued our MFAs. Vie is awesome, plain and simple. This award is much deserved.

Here's Vie's bio from the Rona Jaffe Foundation site:
Vievee Francis lives in Detroit, Michigan, where for 15 years she has been instrumental in fostering a literary community for youth and young-adult poets. She received her B.A. from Fisk University and will receive her M.F.A. from the University of Michigan in 2009, where she is the Alice Lloyd Hall Scholars Program Poet-in-Residence. Her first collection of poems, Blue-Tail Fly (Wayne State University Press, 2006), is described by her nominator as a "remarkably compassionate and clear-eyed debut that is a masterly poetic sequence rooted in mid-19th-century American voices and history. It is confident and utterly compelling." Her poems have also appeared in Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, Rattle, and in the forthcoming Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poets. She was a Cave Canem Fellow in 2005 and 2007. Next year, with the help of her Rona Jaffe Award, she will complete the research for her new collection of poems on the Wendish region of Texas, where her family has lived since the 1800s when the slave holding region was settled by German immigrants seeking religious freedom.

If you don't already own Blue-Tail Fly you are doing yourself a disservice.

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