Holly Iglesias “stays awake” to poetry’s gift
Poet Holly Iglesias recently received what she describes as “a kiss, an embrace, a dare…and a mandate to keep writing.”
Iglesias, a lecturer in UNC Asheville’s Master of Liberal Arts Program, has been awarded a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. She is the only North Carolinian and one of just 42 poets selected nationwide to receive the $25,000 fellowship for 2011. More than 1,000 writers applied.
Iglesias says she will use the funding to support and expand the work she is best known for: prose poems based on historical events. “Because the work is its own reward, the NEA fellowship is icing (thick butter cream) on a three-layer chocolate cake,” noted Iglesias. “The poems have been graced upon me; they come and go. My job continues to be staying awake and opening the door when they arrive.”
Of mixed heritage that she describes as “German, Irish, Midwestern, Yankee and Cuban,” Iglesias is bilingual and a translator of the works of Cuban poet Caridad Atencio. Iglesias spent her younger adult years among Miami’s Cuban exiles and plans to revisit that community for her next writing project. She notes that this new work will consider “the impossibility of return to an imaginary island, the Cuba before Castro.”
Iglesias is the author of Souvenirs of a Shrunken World (Kore Press, 2008), Angles of Approach (White Pine Press, 2010), Boxing Inside the Box: Women’s Prose Poetry (Quale Press, 2004) and two chapbooks. Her work also has appeared in a number of prominent literary journals, including Prairie Schooner and Arts & Letters.
She is a past winner of fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council, the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Edward Albee Foundation. Iglesias holds a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Humanities from Florida State University.
The poems have been graced upon me; they come and go. My job continues to be staying awake and opening the door when they arrive.”
To read some of Iglesias' poetry online, visit these links: