The Lannan Fellows Program is at the core of Folger Poetry’s mission to develop new audiences for poetry, foster community among young writers, and bridge the gaps between town and gown by bringing students and professors together with an increasingly diverse cross-section of the Washington, DC, community.
The Lannan Fellows are a select group of undergraduate and graduate student writers chosen by their faculty for their promise and commitment to the art of poetry. These students come from such Washington, DC, area colleges and universities as American University, George Mason University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Howard University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and the University of Maryland.
"Being a Lannan Fellow was a great treat and an understated honor I was lucky to stumble into while a graduate student. It was a chance to listen to, eat with, and talk to like-minded people who happened to think poetry was a worthwhile endeavor. The best part about this opportunity to be in close proximity with established, reputable poets was hearing their voice. Upon hearing them, the sound of their words being read and the way they held conversation changed their words on the page. The written text became layered, vital, and more resonant. Not just in their works, but also the works of other poets. I also think hearing from the poets' mouths and getting a sense of who they are as people has helped me develop my own voice as a poet. I felt encouraged by their presence and supported as a poet."
Eleanor Graves, poet and teacher (Lannan Fellow 04-05)
"The Lannan Fellows program offers our students the opportunity to rub shoulders with respected writers they would otherwise have no access to. Each reading is a special literary event, a chance to listen and reflect upon new ideas, images, and stories. Our students look forward to the Lannan events before going, and continue to absorb them via conversation, afterwards. The benefit of such a program is difficult to quantify, but absolutely vital and deeply treasured by all who have participated. Thank you, Lannan!"
Johnna Schmidt, Director, Jiménez-Porter Writers' House, University of Maryland, College Park