UMW English Professor Awarded National Fellowship

Allison Seay, faculty member in the English department at the University of Mary Washington, has been named a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in poetry for 2013. The $25,000 award will allow Seay, a 2002 graduate of Mary Washington, to work on a second collection of poetry. Her first book of poetry, “To See the Queen,” is scheduled for publication in March 2013.

Allison Seay

“It really is such a thrill,” Seay said about the award. “It’s unbelievable, especially looking at the list of my fellow poets. I’m flattered to be in the company of talent like that.”

Seay was one of 40 poets chosen from more than 1,100 applicants. The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded creative writing fellowships since 1967, providing writers the time and freedom to pursue their work.

Seay served as UMW’s Arrington Poet-in-Residence during the spring 2012 semester, during which time she taught the advanced poetry workshop and the creative writing seminar. A Midlothian, Va., native, she was the recipient of the 2012 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry, the 2011 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship and two fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, including Poetry, Crazyhorse and The Southern Review.

“I’m so proud of and happy for her, both as an alum and a colleague,” said Gary Richards, associate professor and chair of the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication.

A contributing editor for The Hollins Critic, Seay previously was a visiting professor at Lynchburg College, assistant director of the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and associate editor of the Greensboro Review. She received a master of fine arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a bachelor’s degree in English from Mary Washington.

“We pride ourselves on having professors who also are working writers, so this is just another confirmation of what we can bring to our students,” said Warren Rochelle, professor of English and creative writing coordinator.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.