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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.

2016 Witter Bynner Fellow

Allison Hedge Coke

Allison Hedge Coke is the author of four poetry collections: “Streaming” (2015); “Blood Run” (2006 UK, 2007 US); “Off-Season City Pipe” (2005); “Dog Road Woman” (1997); a memoir, “Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer” (2014); and a chapbook, “Year of the Rat” (1996). Her honors include an American Book Award, an Independent Publisher Book Award, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas. She has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Lannan Foundation, and the MacDowell Colony for the Arts. Hedge Coke is the editor of eight poetry collections; “Sing: Poetry From the Indigenous Americas” (2011) was named a Best Book of 2011 by the National Book Critics Circle’s Critical Mass. Hedge Coke is a founding faculty member of the Vermont College of Fine Arts’ full-residency MFA in Writing and Publishing Program, where she teaches poetry, creative nonfiction, and publishing.

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Full List of Previous Witter Bynner Fellows

  • 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)