University of Mississippi

SPIR: Summer Poet in Residence

Deadline extended to Friday, January 19, 2018.


Thank you for your interest in the Summer Poet in Residence (SPiR) at the University of Mississippi. The residency supports a poet who desires a quiet, beautiful location in which to further his or her work, and it lasts four weeks, from June 15 to July 15

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Beth Ann Fennelly introducing Josh Kyrah at his Square Books reading. Photo by Gaetano Catelli.


In the summer of 1999, I was awarded a Summer Residency from the University of Arizona Poetry Center and I lived for a month in the charming “poet’s house” on the UA campus. In the years since, I’ve reflected on what a special opportunity that was. Here at the University of Mississippi, we’ve been able to establish a similar residency in the hopes that other writers could receive similar nourishment and support.

—-Beth Ann Fennelly, Director


   2017 SPiR: Rose McLarney 

photo by Nicole McConville Photography


Rose McLarney has published two collections of poems, Its Day Being Gone (Penguin Books, 2014)—winner of the National Poetry Series–and The Always Broken Plates of Mountains (Four Way Books, 2012).  Rose has been awarded fellowships by the MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, and Warren Wilson College; was most recently the 2016 Dartmouth Poet in Residence at the Frost Place and 2016 winner of the Chaffin Award at Morehead State; and has received other prizes such as Fellowship of Southern Writers’ New Writing Award for Poetry. Her work has appeared in publications including The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, The Oxford American, Missouri Review, and many other journals. Rose earned her MFA from Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers and has taught at the college, among other institutions. Currently, she is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Auburn University and Co-Editor in Chief and Poetry Editor of The Southern Humanities Review.



Associate Professor of Art, Jan Murray, reveals an author’s broadside of Previous SPiRs.



Previous SPiRs



Eligibility Requirements

The residency is designed for poets who have at least one full length book (either published or under contract) and no more than two books.  Chapbooks are not full length books.  Eligible poets are encouraged to apply.

Housing and Accommodations

The SpiR receives housing, a travel reimbursement, and an honorarium of $3,000 thanks to the generosity of The Department of EnglishThe College of Liberal Arts, and the Division of Outreach and Continuing Education. In addition, the SPiR will receive ten broadsides of his or her work, designed by Jan Murray.


The residency is designed to provide ample writing time to the SPiR while also allowing the University of Mississippi’s summer course offerings to be enriched by the presence of a active poet on campus.To this end, the SPiR will be involved in the campus community and the University of Mississippi MFA program by giving a poetry reading and making 1-2 class visits a week.  The SpiR will also be invited to serve as judge for the Yalobusha Review’s Yellowwood Poetry Prize.  As judge, the SPiR will be given ten finalist poems by the editorial staff and will select the winner and any honorable mentions.


To apply, please send by January 15:

  1. a ten-page work sample.
  2. a resume that includes the names and contact information of three recommenders. Please don’t send separate letters of recommendation; merely include on your resume the names and contact information of three recommenders.
  3. a letter of intent. In your letter, you may address why the residency would be helpful to you at this juncture in your career, and what kind of class visits you’d like to make.
  4. a self-addressed, stamped envelope for notification of the winner.

There is no cost to apply. Applications will be judged by Nadia Alexis and a selection committee. They must be postmarked by January 15th and sent to:

Nadia Alexis, Summer Poet in Residence Administrator
Department of English
Leavell Hall 101
University of Mississippi
University MS 38677