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The Witter Bynner Fellowship is awarded annually to poets to be chosen by the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry in conjunction with the Library. The fellowships support poetry on both a national and local level: the fellows are recognized at a reading in the nation’s capital and go on to organize a local poetry reading in their own communities.

2017 Witter Bynner Fellow

Ray Gonzales

Ray Gonzalez is the author of 15 books of poetry, three essay collections, and two short-story collections, including: “Faith Run” (2009); “Cool Auditor” (2009); “Consideration of the Guitar: New and Selected Poems” (2005); “The Religion of Hands” (2005); “The Hawk Temple at Tierra Grande” (2003); “Cabato Sentora” (2000); “Turtle Pictures” (2000); and, “The Heat of Arrivals” (1997). His poems have appeared in “The Best American Poetry” and “The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses.” He is the editor of 12 anthologies and has served as poetry editor of “The Bloomsbury Review” for 35 years. In 1998, he founded “LUNA,” a poetry journal. His honors include the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Book Award, three Minnesota Book Awards for Poetry, the Carr P. Collins/Texas Institute of Letters Award for Best Book of Non-fiction, the Latino Heritage Award in Literature, the Con Tinta Lifetime Achievement Award in Latino Literature, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southwest Border Regional Library Association. Gonzales is a professor in the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis.

Read News Release Annoucement

Tuesday, March 21 at 6:30 PM – WITTER BYNNER FELLOWSHIP READING

Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera will introduce the 2017 Witter Bynner Fellow, Ray Gonzales, who will read selections from his work. The event is free and open to the public. Book sales and a signing will follow.

Location: Mumford Room, sixth floor, James Madison Building <view map>
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Full List of Witter Bynner Fellows

  • 2017: Ray Gonzales (appointed by Juan Felipe Herrera)
  • 2016: Allison Hedge Coke (appointed by Juan Felipe Herrera)
  • 2015: Emily Fragos and Bobby C. Rogers (appointed by Charles Wright)
  • 2014: Honorée Fanonne Jeffers and Jake Adam York (appointed by Natasha Trethewey)
  • 2013: Sharon Dolin and Shara McCallum (appointed by Natasha Trethewey)
  • 2012: L.S. Asekoff and Sheila Black (appointed by Philip Levine)
  • 2011: Forrest Gander and Robert Bringhurst (appointed by W. S. Merwin)
  • 2010: Jill McDonough and Atsuro Riley (appointed by Kay Ryan)
  • 2009: Christina Davis and Mary Szybist (appointed by Kay Ryan)
  • 2008: Matthew Thorburn and Monica Youn (appointed by Charles Simic)
  • 2007: Laurie Lamon and David Tucker (appointed by Donald Hall)
  • 2006: Joseph Stroud and Connie Wanek (appointed by Ted Kooser)
  • 2005: Claudia Emerson, Martin Walls (appointed by Ted Kooser)
  • 2004: Dana Levin, Spencer Reece (appointed by Louise Glück)
  • 2003: Major Jackson, Rebecca Wee (appointed by Billy Collins)
  • 2002: George Bilgere, Katia Kopovich (appointed by Billy Collins)
  • 2001: Tory Dent, Nick Flynn (appointed by Stanley Kunitz)
  • 2000: Naomi Shihab Nye, Joshua Weiner (appointed by Robert Pinsky)
  • 1999: David Gewanter, Campbell McGrath, Heather McHugh (appointed by Robert Pinsky)
  • 1998: Carol Muske-Dukes, Carl Phillips (appointed by Robert Pinsky)