Warren Wilson College News

WWC MFA faculty member Mary Szybist wins National Book Award


Mary Szybist, faculty member in Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers since 2011, has won the National Book Award for poetry for her collection “Incarnadine.”

Szybist, who received the award at a ceremony Wednesday night in New York City, becomes the second Warren Wilson faculty member to win a National Book Award. Andrea Barrett won in 1996 for “Ship Fever and Other Stories.” Many other Warren Wilson faculty members have been finalists for the award in fiction and poetry.

“We are deeply proud of Mary’s achievement in ‘Incarnadine,’ and grateful that her book has received this richly deserved recognition,” Warren Wilson MFA Program Director Debra Allbery said.

“In Mary’s acceptance speech, she said, ‘There is plenty that poetry cannot do, but the miracle is how much it CAN do, how much it DOES do,’” Allbery noted. “Each member of our faculty is a believer in the miracle of what writing can and does accomplish. We’re dedicated to guiding our poetry and fiction students to that greater awareness; we’re dedicated to exploring those truths in our own work.”

You can read more about Szybist and her work here, as well as a Q&A interview with her here .

Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers became the nation’s first low-residency creative writing program upon its founding in 1976 by renowned poet and teacher Ellen Bryant Voigt. The program has two 10-day residencies at Warren Wilson each year, in January and July.


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