UIC poet named Guggenheim fellow

Christina Pugh

Christina Pugh, UIC professor of English. (Click for larger image)

A University of Illinois at Chicago poet has been awarded the prestigious 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship in creative arts.

Christina Pugh, UIC professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is among 175 North American scholars, artists and scientists chosen from more than 3,100 applicants. She is one of 10 poetry fellows this year.

Awarded by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the fellowship recipients are selected based on “prior achievement and exceptional promise.”

As a Guggenheim fellow during the 2015-16 academic year, Pugh will work on a book-in-progress titled “Stardust Media,” a collection of reflective poems that follow a poetic speaker through encounters with various technologies – both ancient and contemporary.

“In terms of a poetic model, I was inspired by Robert Frost’s long blank verse poems and their ability to track digressions and detours in a poetic speaker’s thought processes,” she said.

Pugh is the author of three books of poems: “Grains of the Voice,” “Restoration” and “Rotary,” which won the Word Press First Book Prize. Her fourth book of poetry, “Perception,” is scheduled to be published in 2017.

Her previous honors include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship from Poetry magazine, the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, an individual artist fellowship in poetry from the Illinois Arts Council, the Associated Writing Programs’ Intro Journals Award, the Grolier Poetry Prize, and residencies at Ragdale, Ucross, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Pugh’s poems have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, TriQuarterly, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, and other periodicals; and in anthologies such as “Poetry 180.”

Her articles focused on literary criticism have been published by various publications, such as Poetry, The Emily Dickinson Journal, Literary Imagination and “The Cambridge Companion to American Poetry Since 1945.” She is also consulting editor for Poetry magazine.

Pugh, who joined UIC in 2005, teaches in the highly-ranked Program for Writers, the university’s master’s and doctoral program in creative writing. She has received awards for teaching and graduate student mentoring, in addition to a 2007-08 faculty fellowship at UIC’s Institute for the Humanities.

Pugh earned a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Harvard, where she was awarded a Whiting Foundation dissertation fellowship.

Since its establishment in 1925, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has granted over $325 million in fellowships to almost 18,000 writers, painters, sculptors, photographers, filmmakers, choreographers, scientists and humanities scholars. Previous winners include Nobel laureates and poets laureate, as well as winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Fields Medal, and other important, internationally recognized honors.

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