FARMINGTON — Jeffrey Thomson, University of Maine at Farmington associate professor of creative writing, has been awarded the Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellowship for 2014-15 by the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.

This distinguished fellowship is a collaboration between the Starr Center at Washington College in Chestertown, Md., and the John Carter Brown Library on the campus of Brown University in Providence, R.I.

Founded in 2010, this award supports significant projects by academics, scholars and writers relating to the literature, history, culture and art of the Americas before 1830.

Thomson’s project is the first work of poetry to be funded under this fellowship. His project will build on his previous Fulbright research at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry in Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. Thomson will be creating a full-length poetry manuscript in the alternating voices of his ancestors who emigrated to the U.S. from Scotland and Ireland.

“I feel so fortunate to receive this opportunity and am excited for all the work to come,” Thomson said. “These are two of our country’s most notable institutions on the study of early America, and I look forward to adding to the growing understanding of how our ancestors’ experience enriches our lives today.”

The award supports two months of research at the John Carter Library, one of the world’s richest collections of books, maps and documents related to North and South America and the Caribbean between 1492 and 1830, and two months of writing at Washington University’s Starr Center.

Thomson is the author of four books of poems, including “Birdwatching in Wartime,” winner of both the 2010 Maine Literary Award for Poetry and the 2011 ASLE Award in Environmental Creative Writing, and “Renovation.”

He is also a translator, and his translation of “The Complete Poems of Catullus” is coming out next year from Cambridge University Press.

In 2012, Thomson was named the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing affiliated with the prestigious Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry in Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland.

In addition, he has been honored with a Fellowship in the Literary Arts from the Maine Arts Commission in 2008, a Creative Artists Fellowship in Literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in 2006, and a Literature Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2005. He has also received fellowships from the Wesleyan Writers Conference, the Sewanee Writers Conference and Writers @ Work.


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