In January of 2016, a new Friends of Writers Scholarship, initiated by current students in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson, was announced. The Ellen Bryant Voigt Scholarship honors the program’s founder and is currently in the fundraising stage. In honor of this new scholarship, FOW is happy to present a collection of five lectures by Ellen Bryant Voigt. Proceeds from this collection go directly to the scholarship fund.
In the fall of 2015 Ellen Bryant Voigt—poet, teacher and founder of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College—received a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. When current students heard the news, they began brainstorming a way to celebrate Ellen and to honor what she has done for poetry, for graduate writing education, and for this inimitable Warren Wilson community. Their idea? Create a scholarship in her name.
Ellen and the FOW board approved the idea. Ellen wrote: “The MacArthur Fellowship was such a lucky lucky thing—providential, actually, especially in the timing of it—I never thought my gratitude and joy could be further amplified. But I was wrong. This effort, initiated by current students in the Program, students with busy lives and all sorts of impediments to doing their important work, moves me profoundly. I will be proud to have an endowed scholarship bearing my name.”
In January of 2016, the scholarship was announced at the Graduation banquet—along with news of a substantial contribution by the graduating class. In the months that followed, the response was tremendous, with generous gifts and pledges arriving from our extended community.
The Ellen Bryant Voigt Scholarship will be need-based, like all FOW scholarships, and will support an extra semester of graduate study, giving recipients a strong start toward a book-length manuscript.