CSU creative writing professor wins Guggenheim fellowship

Dan Beachy-Quick, an associate professor of creative writing at Colorado State University, has been named a fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Beachy-Quick was one of 175 scholars, artists and scientists selected to receive a 2015 Guggenheim fellowship and one of 10 recipients in the Dan-Beachy-Quick-Photo (2)organization’s poetry category.  There were more than 3,100 applicants.

He is the first CSU professor from the humanities to win the prestigious award and only the fourth professor from the university. The three previous Guggenheim fellows were all scientists – James Bamburg, a professor of biochemistry, won in 1978; C. Richard Tracy, a professor of zoology, won in 1980; and Jorge M. Vivanco, a professor and director of the Center for Rhizosphere Biology, won in 2007.

The award will enable Beachy-Quick, who also is a CSU Monfort professor (he was the first humanities professor to be awarded that title) to spend the next year writing.

Louann Reid, chair of the Department of English, said Beachy-Quick already is a prolific author – since joining CSU in 2007,  he has published a number of literary collections, 26 articles and more than 75  poems, stories and reviews  – but the Guggenheim award will allow him to focus even more so on his writing.

“(A Guggenheim) is one of the most prestigious awards a writer can get,” she said. “It provides time and maximum creative freedom.”

Guggenheim fellowships are awarded on the basis of past achievements and the promise of future accomplishments. Previous recipients include  writers who have distinguished themselves in U.S. and world literature.

Of the 45 U.S. Poets Laureate, 35 of them are Guggenheim fellows, including Joseph Brodsky, Gwendolyn Brooks, Rita Dove, and Robert Hass. Several Guggenheim fellows also have received Nobel prizes in literature, including poets Joseph Brodsky, Czeslaw Milosz, Octavio Paz, and Derek Walcott. The list of National Book Award recipients includes noted fellows such as W. H. Auden, Saul Bellow, Louise Erdrich, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Wallace Stegner.

Reid said Beachy-Quick has already established himself as a noted writer.

Several established writers and poets who have reviewed his work, have called him “a fully established American artist” and “one of the most interesting poets – and thinkers – of our generation.” Another, Lyn Hejinian, a poet, referred to Whaler’s Dictionary, his study of Moby Dick, as a “major work written by one of America’s most significant young poets.”

“Receiving the Guggenheim places Professor Beachy Quick in the company of the very finest poets, writers, artists and scholars, and it propels Colorado State University’s fine creative writing program to elite status,” said Ann Gill, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.