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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 Nonfiction, 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. Gonzalez is a professor in the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis.

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Full List of Witter Bynner Fellows

  • 2017: Ray Gonzalez (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)