Jericho Brown Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship

Emory University Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing Jericho Brown was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work in poetry, according to an April 6 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation press release.

Brown had submitted his two books of poetry, Please (2008) and The New Testament (2014), to the Committee of Selection of the Guggenheim Foundation for consideration. Brown said that he credits his two books for his ultimate receipt of the fellowship.

“It’s gratifying,” Brown said of his recognition in an interview with the Wheel. “[Yet] the reward is the work itself.”

The receipt of awards such as the Guggenheim Fellowship indicates that someone appreciates and recognizes his work, Brown said, adding that a poet’s work is oftentimes not immediately recognized, contrary to the experience of a performance artist, who may receive instant gratification when he or she performs on stage.

With the funding from his fellowship, Brown plans to work on another book of poems, which he will title Character, according to an April 6 Emory News Center release. Character will “focus on society’s obsession with celebrity and will be written in the voices of people from literature, the visual arts and film,” the release stated.

Funding amounts of the award vary for each individual recipient.

The Board of Trustees of the Guggenheim Foundation awarded fellowships to 178 individuals this year.

The Foundation announced the fellowship recipients Tuesday, April 5, according to its website.

The Guggenheim Fellowship has been awarded annually since 1925 to those “who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts,” the website said. The Guggenheim Foundation receives between 3,500 and 4,000 applications for fellowships annually, and an average of 200 fellowships are awarded each year, the website said.

The Foundation recognized this year’s recipients for their work in the natural sciences, humanities, social sciences and creative arts, according to the foundation’s press release. Among the 178 fellowship recipients, 10 fellows, including Brown, were recognized for their work in poetry.

Other Emory faculty members who have received this award include former U.S. Poet Laureate and Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing Natasha Trethewey and Professor of English and Creative Writing Ben Reiss.

Reiss won the fellowship last year and Trethewey in 2003.

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