Henson receives National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship

NEA logo and photo of Katie Schmid Henson

January 10, 2023 by Erin Chambers

Poet, lecturer, and alum Katie Schmid Henson, who writes under the name Katie Schmid, is one of 36 writers to receive a 2023 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. The $25,000 grants enable recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career development. Fellows are selected through an anonymous review process and are judged on the basis of artistic excellence of the work sample they provided. These fellowships alternate between poetry and prose every other year and are highly competitive, with nearly 1,900 eligible applications received for 2023.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this group of poets and provide them with the means to focus on their writing,” said the NEA’s Director of Literary Arts Amy Stolls. “Their poetry explodes with originality in form and content, offering powerful reflections on the pain and joy of our modern times.”

Katie Schmid Henson is the author of the poetry collection Nowhere (University of New Mexico Press, 2021) and the poetry chapbook forget me / hit me / let me drink great quantities of clear, evil liquor (Split Lip Press, 2015). Her work has appeared in 32 Poems, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. She is a former Best New Poet and AWP Intro Journals award winner. Katie received her Ph.D. in English with a specialization in Creative Writing (Poetry) from UNL in 2019, and she is currently Associate Director of Composition and Rhetoric in the Department of English.

The NEA Creative Writing Fellowship will help Katie complete her second book of poems, tentatively titled so long a thrall. The poems were begun during her graduate work at UNL.

NEA Creative Writing Fellowships have been awarded to numerous UNL English students, faculty, and alumni over the years. Associate Professor Hope Wabuke won a fellowship for poetry in 2017, and current Ph.D. student Jamaica Baldwin received a fellowship for poetry in 2021. Past poetry winners include UNL English alums Amy Knox Brown and Hadara Bar-Nadav, as well as former U.S. Poet Laureate and Emeritus Chancellor's Professor of English, Ted Kooser. Past prose winners include Ted Wheeler, Paul Eggers, and Lee Martin.

“I'm very grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for their support, and honored to be among such a talented cohort of writers I admire,” says Katie. “I am grateful to the mentorship of the faculty at UNL and to the creative writing program for being such a source of support for my poetry.”

You can learn more about Katie and read selections of her poetry by visiting her website. To browse bios and artist statements from all of the 2023 recipients and past Creative Writing Fellows, visit arts.gov.