Featured Writer: Special Announcement on Behalf of Poet Rachel Custer, our “Featured Writer” for February

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 National Endowment for the Arts Announces Creative Writing Fellows

Rachel Custer among 35 recipients nationwide

[Albion, IN]—Today, the National Endowment for the Arts announced that Rachel Custer is one of 35 poets who will receive an FY 2019 Creative Writing Fellowship of $25,000. Through its Creative Writing Fellowships, the Arts Endowment gives writers the time and space needed to create. Fellows are selected through a highly-competitive, anonymous process and are judged solely on the artistic excellence of the work sample provided.

“A recent national survey shows reading poetry is making a comeback,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “The National Endowment for the Arts supports our nation’s poets and encourages a wide range of voices and styles.”

Rachel Custer was selected from nearly 1,700 eligible applicants. Fellowships alternate between poetry and prose each year and this year’s fellowships are to support poetry. The full list of FY 2019 Creative Writing Fellows is available here.

Rachel is the author of The Temple She Became (Five Oaks Press, 2017) and is the recipient of a 2019 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She holds Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Her poems and essays can be found in many journals, including Rattle, The American Journal of Poetry, OSU: The Journal, B O D Y, and The Penn Review, among others. She is this month’s featured poet at Open: Journal of Arts & Letters (ojalart.com). Read more of her work online or contact her at rachelcuster.wordpress.com.

Since 1967, the Arts Endowment has awarded more than 3,500 Creative Writing Fellowships totaling over $54 million. Many American recipients of the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and Fiction were recipients of NEA fellowships early in their careers.

Visit the agency’s Literature Fellowships webpage to read excerpts by and features on past Creative Writing Fellows and recipients of Literature Fellowships for translation projects. For more information on literature at the National Endowment for the Arts, go to arts.gov.