A! Magazine for the Arts

Justin Phillip Reed

Justin Phillip Reed

Tusculum alumnus Justin Phillip Reed earns poetry fellowship

October 1, 2019

Just six years after completing his undergraduate studies at Tusculum University, acclaimed poet Justin Phillip Reed continues to impress on the national stage with his work.

The Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine awarded Reed one of its five 2019 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships in August. Reed, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing from Tusculum, received a $25,800 prize.

“This is exceptional news for Justin as he continues his rise to the top of literary circles,” said Wayne Thomas, dean of Tusculum’s College of Civic and Liberal Arts, who maintains regular contact with Reed. “He inspires today’s students at Tusculum to pursue their dreams as writers, and we thank him for putting our creative writing program in such elite company.”

The foundation said previous winners include Saskia Hamilton, Kathleen Rooney and Dwayne Betts. To celebrate the newest winners, an upcoming issue of Poetry magazine will feature a sampling of Reed’s product and that of the others, the national organization said.

This success comes nine months after Reed received the National Book Award for poetry for his collection “Indecency.” Now, Reed has expanded his scope of influence on the profession and further distinguished himself among others in the profession. The foundation said the five winners of the fellowships came from a field of 1,573 submissions.

“We are extraordinarily proud of Justin’s growth as a writer and the recognition he is earning among his peers across the country,” said Dr. Madison Sowell, Tusculum’s provost and vice president of academic affairs. “It is an honor to have Justin Phillip Reed among our alumni as he demonstrates the value of a degree from our institution. We are excited about what the future holds for him.”