Michener Center Grad Wins Poetry Fellowship For Third Straight Year


No sooner do we highlight two of the award-winning young poets to come out of UT’s Michener Center for Writers than a new talent comes along and wins the same prize.

For the third year in a row, a Michener Center graduate has won the Lilly Fellowship in Poetry — an award so competitive that more than 1,000 applications are received for five slots. The young writers who win the fellowship receive $15,000.

Longhorns Roger Reeves won in 2008, Malachi Black in 2009, and now Miriam Bird Greenberg this year.

The Alcalde features Reeves and Black and some of their work in our current September|October issue, inviting our readers to reflect for a moment, to take in an ancient art made fresh in poems like “Insomnia & So On” and “The Mare of Money.”

Both Reeves and Black grew up in New Jersey, while Greenberg is a Texas native. She grew up on an organic farm in the country, and like a good poet, she keeps her biography mysterious and intriguing.

She’s let it be known that she spent her childhood roaming creeks and old barns in muslin schoolteachers’ dresses made for ancestors who died of diptheria a century before. She’s also roamed the globe, teaching English in Japan, taking a train through Siberia, hitchhiking from Montana to Vermont, and flying kites in Tiananmen Square. 

Greenberg is starting a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University this fall and is working on a collection of poems about a pack of half-feral children who roam the countryside. At this rate, we’ll no doubt need to serve up more artful verse. Here’s one taste.


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