University of North Texas student Matt Morton has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship program.
The fellowship offers grants to published creative writers that enable recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel and general career advancement.
Morton, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English, began working on a new book last year.
“Starting a new book is exciting and intimidating,” said Morton. “It’s an opportunity to take new risks and to write without any notion of what the end product should be. Receiving the NEA Fellowship in the midst of this has given me both financial security—the importance of which for a graduate student cannot be overstated—and affirmation that my writing has value for others.”
Morton holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Fine Arts from Johns Hopkins University. His poems have appeared in many journals, including, Gulf Coast, Harvard Review and Tin House. He is the recipient of the Sycamore Review Wabash Prize for Poetry, an Owen Scholars Fellowship from Johns Hopkins, the Carol Houck Smith Scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the John Hollander Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Morton serves as editor for 32 Poems and is a UNT Robert B. Toulouse Doctoral Fellow in English.
The National Endowment for the Arts typically receive more than 1,000 applications each year in this category and award fellowships to fewer than five percent of applicants.
“I’m especially happy to have received the fellowship while at UNT, where several of the poems included in my application were workshopped by my professors and peers,” Morton said.