A poet and former Adelphi adjunct professor, she has been chosen as 2012 Stegner Fellow.
By Michelle Consorte ’12“This is never going to happen to me ever again—I can’t imagine a better gift as a writer than time and help.”—Kimberly Grey, M.F.A. ’09
From Fiction to Fact
Kimberly Grey, M.F.A. ’09, a poet and former Adelphi adjunct professor, had been dreaming for years about the Wallace Stegner Fellowship—offered annually by Stanford University to 10 writers chosen out of more than 1,700 applications from around the globe.
So, when she got the call informing her that she had been selected as a 2012 Stegner Fellow, Ms. Grey was overjoyed, but also incredulous. “This is never going to happen to me ever again—I can’t imagine a better gift as a writer than time and help,” she says.
During the two-year Stegner Fellowship, Ms. Grey is attending weekly sessions with Stanford faculty, readings by renowned authors and other events. Mainly, she is using the time to work on her second book of poetry. She receives a $26,000 annual stipend, and her tuition and health insurance are both covered.
Even while dreaming of the Stegner, Ms. Grey was hard at work. At any given time, she has between 20 and 30 submissions out at several publications. “You have to not think about rejection,” she says. “It’s a part of the process. Patience and persistence are very important.” To date, she has published more than 65 poems in more than 30 journals, including The Southern Review, Boston Review and Colorado Review.
Her first book of poetry, The Opposite of Robot is Light, has been a finalist for multiple book awards. Poems appear in pairs, making the collection structurally symmetrical. “I was subconsciously writing poems that matched each other and in some way belonged to each other,” she explains.
After completing the Stegner Fellowship, Ms. Grey will be searching for a teaching position and readying her second book for publication. She plans to apply for the Jones Lectureship at Stanford where, if accepted, she would teach for two years.
Ms. Grey is a proponent of the M.F.A. for emerging writers and says that Adelphi’s program was central in bringing her writing to where it is today. She says she hopes to leverage her experiences to “publish good books that people want to read, and to teach undergraduates.” She adds, “I don’t think I could ask for much more than that right now.”
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