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Camille Dungy wins Guggenheim Fellowship

The creative minds at Colorado State University continue to gather recognition from others. 

English professor, poet and essayist Camille Dungy, was recently awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship. Dungy is likely to be both the first woman from CSU to receive the fellowship award and the first African American from CSU to receive the fellowship. 

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Dungy wrote that the news of receiving the fellowship was wonderful because she didn’t expect to win.

It’s a recognition of years of hard work and also a push to continue working,” Dungy wrote in an email to The Collegian. “It’s a common thing to apply for at my stage in my field. Though, with 3,000 people applying and only about 179 fellowships awarded, one doesn’t necessarily expect to win.”

Guggenheim Fellowships are grants that are awarded annually to those “who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.”

Dungy wrote that she plans to use the awarded money to support her on her next book, titled “Soil.”

“Subjects I have been exploring my whole career have to do with the intersection between social justice, environmental justice, historical and contemporary accountability, love and survival,” Dungy wrote.

When it comes to what’s next for the professor, Dungy wrote that she hopes to take it one step at a time.

“My next step when it comes to all writing projects is to write one line and then write another line. The same will be true after this award as before,” Dungy wrote.

Dan Beachy-Quick, English professor, assistant chair of the English department, coordinator of Undergraduate Studies and former recipient of the Guggenheim fellowship, praised Dungy’s work and wrote the fellowship was well-deserved.

“Over the many years I’ve followed Camille’s work, I’ve seen its deep interrogation into form and history widen in wonderful ways — growing simultaneously into the personal and the global, becoming … more accessible, more inviting, including all who care to learn how to care in the ways Camille’s writing teaches us to,” Beachy-Quick wrote. “Such generous work deserves such a generous award.”

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Louann Reid, professor and English department chair of the English department, also expressed congratulations towards Dungy’s achievement.

“We are thrilled that Professor Camille Dungy has been recognized with a prestigious Guggenheim fellowship,” Reid wrote. “As a Guggenheim fellow, Camille joins a group that includes Nobel Prize winners, U.S. Poet Laureates and National Book Award Winners—and our own Professor Dan Beachy-Quick. This award provides what writers most need — support for time to write. We look forward to more of Camille’s elegant, provocative, award-winning prose and poetry. She well deserves this honor.”

Dungy wrote that she feels honored to join the list of fellows that include esteemed writers and artists.

“I’m honored to be included in this fellowship with so many writers and artists I deeply admire,” Dungy wrote.

Ceci Taylor can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @cecelia_twt.

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