Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellows Reading

The Poetry Foundation awards five Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships annually. Among the largest awards offered to young poets in the US, the $27,000 prize is intended to support exceptional US poets between 21 and 31 years of age.

This is a hybrid event, which will be offered in-person and via livestream.

Introducing the 2023 fellows:

Bhion Achimba (they/he) grew up in rural southeastern Nigeria and came to the US as a Scholar-at-Risk fellow at Harvard University. Their manuscript Cantos from the Crossing won the 2023 Center for Book Arts chapbook prize and will be published in November 2023. They earned an MFA in literary arts from Brown University; edit Dgëku, a literary magazine that publishes writing by queer Africans; and serve on the editorial board of TransitionMagazine.

Roda Avelar (she/they) is a trans woman poet from Fresno, California. She earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of California Riverside, where she taught creative writing and English composition, and a BA in English literature from California State University Fresno. She was a Milkweed Editions summer intern in 2019, and a 2022 Community of Writers fellow. She creates work that imagines queer people and people of color in science fiction, mythology, and queer liberation.

Ariana Benson (she/they) is a southern Black poet born in Norfolk, Virginia. Their debut collection, Black Pastoral, won the 2022 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Benson has received a Furious Flower Poetry Prize, a Porter House Review Poetry Prize, and the 2021 Graybeal-Gowen Prize for Virginia Poets. Benson is a proud alumna of Spelman College, where she facilitates creative writing and storytelling workshops for HBCU students. She strives to fashion vignettes of Blackness that speak to its infinite depth and richness in her writing.

Chrysanthemum (she/her) is a poet, a performance artist, and a public historian. Her honors include the 2023 Justin Chin Memorial Scholarship from Lambda Literary; fellowships from Artist Communities Alliance and Kundiman; and a championship with her team at the Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam and the first-ever FEM Slam. Chrysanthemum was born to Vietnamese parents in Oklahoma City, where she came of age around the NW 39th Street and Asian American enclaves. She now calls Providence, Rhode Island, home.

Willie Lee Kinard III (he/they) is a poet, designer, and musician. Kinard earned a BFA from the University of South Carolina and an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. His publications include Orders of Service, winner of the 2022 Alice James Award, and a self-published chapbook/mixtape, chroma. The recipient of fellowships from The Watering Hole and the Pittsburgh Foundation, Kinard is from Newberry, South Carolina, and currently teaches at the University of South Carolina.

In-Person Attendance: Masks are strongly encouraged and available at check-in for those who would like to wear one. Please note that some event performers may choose to perform without a mask. The Foundation reserves the right to update this policy if community levels of COVID-19 increase significantly. Read our full COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines.

Livestream Attendance: The livestream link will be shared with registered guests on the day of the event. In order to receive the livestream details, please register in advance here.

The Poetry Foundation’s events are completely free of charge and open to the public. This event will include CART captioning and ASL interpretation. For more information about accessibility at the Poetry Foundation, please visit our Accessibility Guide.