CAAPP Creative Writing Fellowship

The Fellowship in Creative Writing at the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics is a two-year fellowship for poets who have completed an MFA or PhD and have published no more than one full-length book. While the primary goal is to provide an early-career poet with time and space to pursue their own creative work, the fellow also teaches one community workshop each year; is a guest presenter in the course Studio in African American Poetry and Poetics; participates in Co-Lab, the interactive public forum in which visiting writers and artists present their work in progress; gives one public reading with a Q&A; facilitates one session of the Writers’ Café; and has the possibility of teaching a course at the university. Rickey Laurentiis was the inaugural Fellow in Creative Writing at CAAPP, from 2017-2019. Justin Phillip Reed will hold the fellowship from 2019-2021.


We at CAAPP are thrilled to announce that Justin Phillip Reed will be our next Fellow in Creative Writing.

Justin Phillip Reed is an American poet living in St. Louis. He is the author of Indecency (Coffee House Press), winner of the 2018 National Book Award in Poetry and a finalist for the 2019 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, as well as the chapbook A History of Flamboyance (YesYes Books, 2016). His work appears in African American ReviewBest American EssaysCallalooThe Kenyon ReviewObsidian, and elsewhere. A three-time high school expellee and an ex-college dropout, he received his BA in creative writing at Tusculum College and his MFA in poetry at Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as Junior Writer-in-Residence. He has received fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation, the Conversation Literary Festival, and the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis. Reed was born and raised in South Carolina.

Runner Up: Keith Wilson

Finalists (in alphabetical order):
Joshua Burton
Valencia Robin Grice
Shayla Lawz
Madison McCartha
Xandria Phillips

Inaugural 2017-2019 Fellow: Rickey Laurentiis