Faculty Member Awarded Prestigious Fellowship from NEA

December 10, 2014 -- The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded CNM English faculty member and accomplished poet Jennifer Givhan a prestigious $25,000 fellowship designed to help her set aside time for writing, research, travel and career advancement.
July 16, 2015

The NEA received more than 1,634 eligible manuscripts, and 36 were selected for the Literature Fellowship in Creative Writing.

“This was huge news and such an honor,” said Givhan. “Poetry frames my world.”

Givhan has been a CNM faculty member since 2011. She started as an instructor in the School of Adult & General Education and most recently has been teaching English Composition classes in the School of Communication, Humanities & Social Sciences.

She plans to use the fellowship money to teach fewer classes over the next year and focus on her writing.

She said she has been scripting poetry since she first picked up a pencil to write. She began to hone in on the craft as an English student in the master’s program at California State University-Fullerton where she had a choice of writing a thesis or doing a creative project that involved writing poetry. She opted for the creative project.

She is currently finishing a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C. through a low-residency program that allows her to spend two weeks on the college campus and do most of her work online. This gives her the opportunity to continue to teach at CNM. She graduates Jan. 13.

To apply for the NEA fellowship, candidates had to have been published in at least 20 journals. Givhan submitted 10 separate poems.

The NEA was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $5 billion to support artist excellence, creativity and innovation to the benefit of individuals and communities.

Read some of Givhan’s poems at her website.