Institutional News

Fischoff Receives Donald Hall Scholarship for Poets

The Bennington Writing Seminars is pleased to announce that Jessica R. Fischoff is the recipient of the Donald Hall Scholarship for Poets. She will begin her studies in June 2020. 

Photo of Jessica Fischoff

Fischoff is the owner/editor of [PANK] Magazine and Books, and American Poetry Journal. She manages the publication of manuscripts from submission to printing, oversees daily magazine  and book operations, and coordinates social media, readings, and workshops. She is the author of The Desperate Measure of Undoing (Across the Margin, 2019) and Editor of the upcoming Pittsburgh Anthology (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2020). Her thoughts on editing appear in Best American Poetry and The Kenyon Review. Her writing appears in Diode Poetry JournalThe Southampton ReviewPreludeCreative NonfictionFjords Review and Yemassee, among others.

One full scholarship––made possible by a generous anonymous donor––is awarded to the top poetry candidate as identified by Bennington’s admissions readers. Hall, former United States poet laureate, and longtime BWS writer-in-residence, passed away at the age of 89. Hall’s involvement with the Seminars extends to the program’s very beginning in 1994. Hall was a long-time friend of Liam Rector, the Seminars’ founding director, and he remained deeply involved with the program. 

“We are delighted to have Jessica join our stellar poetry program,” said Mark Wunderlich, director of the Bennington Writing Seminars. “Poetry is embedded in the soul of the Writing Seminars. Our poetry alumni have gone on to win the National Book Award, the Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award, Pushcart Prizes, Stegner Fellowships, and Rona Jaffe Awards, among other accolades. We are grateful to this generous donor for investing in the genre specifically, at a critically important time, and in the program in general.”

“I am thrilled to join the incredible Bennington community as the Donald Hall Scholarship recipient,” said Fischoff. “I cannot think of a better place to pursue my MFA in poetry and am honored and humbled to take that journey at Bennington with such an esteemed group of faculty and students. I am overjoyed.”

Fischoff holds a BA in English and Journalism from the University of Iowa.