UofM professor Marcus Wicker receives prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship 

Feb. 4, 2021 — The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded University of Memphis associate professor Marcus Wicker a 2021 Creative Writing Fellowship of $25,000. He is one of 35 writers to receive the prestigious award from a pool of 1,601 applicants. 

The fellowships for 2021 are in poetry and enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel and general career advancement. Fellows are selected through a highly competitive, anonymous process and are judged on the basis of artistic excellence of the work sample they provided.  

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these 35 talented poets through Creative Writing Fellowships,” said Amy Stolls, director of literary arts at the Arts Endowment. “These fellowships often provide writers with crucial support and encouragement, and in return our nation is enriched by their artistic contributions in the years to come.” 

An associate professor of English at the UofM, Wicker teaches in the MFA program and serves as the creative writing coordinator at the University. In addition to his work at the UofM, Wicker is poetry editor for the Southern Indiana Review. 

Wicker is the author of Silencer (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017) — winner of the Society of Midland Authors Award — and Maybe the Saddest Thing (Harper Perennial, 2012), selected by D.A. Powell for the National Poetry Series. He is the recipient of a Tennessee Arts Fellowship, Pushcart Prize, 2011 Ruth Lilly Fellowship and fellowships from The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and Cave Canem. His poems have appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, The Atlantic, Poetry, American Poetry Review and many other publications.  

Since 1967, the Arts Endowment has awarded more than 3,600 Creative Writing Fellowships totaling over $56 million. Many American recipients of the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award and Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and Fiction were recipients of National Endowment for the Arts fellowships early in their careers. Visit arts.gov to browse bios, artist statements and writing excerpts from a sample of past Creative Writing Fellows.