Lawrence University poet Melissa Range has been named one of 36 national recipients of a $25,000 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Creative Writing. She was selected from among 1,634 applications.

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Melissa Range

The highly competitive fellowship is designed to allow published writers to set aside time for writing, research, travel and career advancement.

Range, who joined the Lawrence faculty in September as an assistant professor of English, plans to use her fellowship to complete research for the third poetry collection she is writing, which will focus on the abolitionist movement. Her work frequently employs metaphor and features a musical style with an emphasis on the way words sound.

“Professor Range is a creative young poet of remarkable talent,” said David Burrows, provost and dean of the faculty. “The quality of her work, both published and unpublished, is outstanding. We are extremely proud of her success in obtaining this most prestigious fellowship.”

She previously has been recognized for her writing with the 2010 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize and was the recipient of the 2013 teaching award for creative writing at the University of Missouri, where she earned her Ph.D. in English and creative writing.

Range, who first began writing poetry as college junior, has conducted more than a dozen invited poetry readings and is the author of the book “Horse and Rider: Poems,” which centers on violence and power in religion and the natural world. Her collection “Scriptorium” uses sonnets to explore themes of belief and doubt inspired by medieval and religious art.

Since its founding in 1965 by Congress, the NEA has awarded more than $5 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.