UM Creative Writing Professor Named Guggenheim Fellow

May 01, 2019

Joanna KlinkMISSOULA – Joanna Klink, a University of Montana Creative Writing professor and author, has been named a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Klink is one of 168 scholars, artists and writers selected for the honor from 3,000 applicants and one of just nine poets chosen from across the nation. Selection is based on prior achievement and exceptional promise.

“I was truly surprised,” Klink said. “And I’m grateful. The award will help me to continue writing poems at a time when that means more to me than it’s ever meant before.”

Klink is the author of four books of poetry. Her most recent, “Excerpts from a Secret Prophecy,” was published by Penguin in 2015.

Poet Louise Glück has written of Klink: “In a culture inclined to mistake opacity for depth and stridency for passionate feeling, Joanna Klink has made a body of work at once utterly lucid and breathtakingly urgent. She navigates between those most suspicious extremes, despair and ecstasy, without ever seeming to be a poet dependent on extremes. The extraordinary beauty of her poems, from the beginning, has resulted from a constantly refined attention to the ordinary and the daily. Taken together, her books are an amazing experience: harrowing, ravishing, essential, unstoppable.”

Klink’s previous books include “Raptus,” “Circadian” and “They Are Sleeping,” which won the Contemporary Poetry Series in 2000 through the University of Georgia Press. Her poems have appeared in a range of journals and anthologies, including Paris Review, A Public Space, Poetry, The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century Poetry, and Resistance Rebellion, Life: 50 Poems Now.

She also has received residency fellowships from Civitella Ranieri, the Bogliasco Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, MacDowell, Yaddo and the Ucross Foundation.

Klink’s awards include the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, the Jeannette Haien Ballard Writer’s Prize, the Arts and Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship, which allowed her to live in Rome in 2018.

A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the doctoral program in humanities at Johns Hopkins, Klink was the Briggs-Copeland Poet at Harvard University and the Tin House Writer-in-Residence at Portland State University. She has taught creative writing at UM since 2000.

Klink is finishing her fifth book of poems, which is forthcoming from Penguin in 2020. Her new book includes a sequence of poems called “Night Sky,” which is based on the chambers of James Turrell’s Roden Crater.

Since its establishment in 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has granted more than $360 million in fellowships to over 18,000 individuals, among whom are scores of Nobel laureates, fields medalists, poets laureate, members of the various national academies and winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the Turing Award, the National Book Award and other significant honors.

For more information on the Fellows and their projects, visit the foundation’s website at


Contact: Joanna Klink, UM professor of English, 646-537-5554,