Gaskin receives Exchange Award from Poets & Writers

Kate Gaskin and the Poets and Writers logo
Photo credit: Author Photo by Dominic Gaskin

July 15, 2022

Poet and Ph.D. student Kate Gaskin is the recipient of the 2022 Poets & Writers Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award in poetry. The prestigious award, which aims to provide promising writers a network for professional advancement, offers winners an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City for a round of visits with literary professionals (arranged by Poets & Writers, and drawn from winners’ personal wish lists). This year’s fiction winner, Gene Kwak, hails from Omaha and teaches at UNO.

Gaskin and Kwak will travel to New York City in October for a round of visits with agents, editors, authors, and others in the literary field. As a direct result of connections established at these meetings, past WEX winners have had their books published, received fellowships, secured teaching positions, and laid the groundwork for their professional lives as writers. Over the years, the award has helped to launch the careers of Sue Monk Kidd (The Invention of Wings, The Secret Life of Bees), David Mura (Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei), Mona Simpson (Case), Lidia Yuknavitch (Thrust), and others.

In addition to meetings with literary professionals, Poets & Writers will sponsor a reading and reception for Gaskin and Kwak during their visit to New York. The winners are also offered a one-month residency at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Wyoming.

Kate Gaskin is the author of Forever War (YesYes Books, 2020), winner of the Pamet River Prize. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Pleiades, the Southern Review, Guernica, and Ploughshares, among others, and her work has been anthologized in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2019. She has received support from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Vermont Studio Center and is a poetry editor for the Adroit Journal. An excerpt from her winning manuscript, which includes her poems “In Jezero Crater,” “Diagnosis in Reverse,” “Snow,” and “Lightning Dragons,” is available on the Poets & Writers website.

Poets & Writers selects one state each year and invites writers from that jurisdiction to apply for the Writers Exchange Award. Nebraska was chosen for 2022. Three UNL English graduate students were runners-up for the awards: Saddiq Dzukogi and Avee Chaudhuri were first runners-up in poetry and fiction, respectively, and Olufunke Ogundimu was second runner-up in fiction.