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Professor awarded prestigious writing fellowship

  • Amorak Huey. Photo by Bernadine Carey-Tucker.

Posted on December 16, 2016

The written works of Amorak Huey recently received prestigious validation when he was one of 37 authors out of a pool of 1,800 to be awarded a Creative Writing Fellowship in poetry from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA).

"It's such a competitive fellowship, and it's based entirely on the selection of poems you send in," said Huey, assistant professor of writing. "When I got the call, I was in disbelief, and at first, I wondered if this was some kind of prank. It's tremendously flattering."

After submitting a portfolio of 10 pages of his poetry, a panel of nationally renowned poets deemed Huey's work to be of the highest "artistic excellence and artistic merit."

Huey said the $25,000 fellowship grant will provide him with the time and space needed to create, revise, conduct research and connect with his readers.

"This fellowship will allow me to do the things I'm always hoping to do as a writer, which are read more, write more, share my work, connect with other poets and poetry editors and learn from other writers," Huey said. "I hope to grow in ways I can't yet predict by writing poems I haven't yet imagined and meeting writers, teachers and editors I would never have met otherwise."

Huey is the author of the poetry collection Ha Ha Thump (2015) and the chapbook The Insomniac Circus (2014). His poetry and essays have appeared in The Best American Poetry 2012, The Southern Review, Brevity, Poet Lore, The Collagist, The Cincinnati Review, and many other print and digital journals.

Since 2013, Huey has served as faculty advisor for Fishladder, the student journal of art and literature at Grand Valley. Before coming to the university in 2008, Huey worked for more than a decade as an editor and reporter for newspapers in Florida, Kentucky and Michigan, including serving as assistant sports editor for the Grand Rapids Press.

Huey is also one of the featured authors during this year's Grand Valley Writers Series. Huey and Caitlin Horrocks, associate professor of writing, will read excerpts from their work during a series event on January 31, from 6-8 p.m., in the Cook-DeWitt Center on the Allendale Campus. For more information about the Grand Valley Writers Series, visit the Writing Department website.