Awards and Honors, Faculty News

Scenters-Zapico Awarded Poetry Foundation Fellowship

Faculty member Natalie Scenters-Zapico is a recipient of The Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine's 2018 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship.

2018 Lily Fellows

Among the largest awards offered to young poets in the United States, the $25,800 prize is intended to encourage the further study and writing of poetry and is open to all U.S. poets between 21 and 31 years of age.

Past Bennington winners of this award include Safiya Sinclair '10 in 2015 and faculty member Phillip B. Williams in 2013.

Scenters-Zapico is the author of Lima :: Limón (Copper Canyon Press, forthcoming 2019) and The Verging Cities (Center for Literary Publishing, 2015). She earned a BA from University of Texas at El Paso and an MFA in poetry from the University of New Mexico. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Tin HouseIndiana ReviewPleiadesPoetryGulf Coast, and The Believer, among others.

Scenters-Zapico has taught at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, Westminster College, the University of Texas at El Paso, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, the Great Lakes Colleges Association Prize, the Utah Book Award, and the National Association of Chicano/a Studies Book Award. She has received a Lannan Literary Fellowship and has served as a CantoMundo Fellow.

About the Award

Established in 1989 by Ruth Lilly, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship program has dramatically expanded since its inception. Until 1995, university writing programs nationwide each nominated one student poet for a single fellowship; from 1996 until 2007, two fellowships were awarded. In 2008, the competition was opened to all U.S. poets between 21 and 31 years of age, and the number of fellowships increased to five, totaling $75,000. In 2013, the Poetry Foundation received a generous gift from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund to create the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships, which increased the fellowship amount from $15,000 to $25,800.