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UGA doctoral student named finalist for major poetry fellowship

Alan Flurry

The Poetry Foundation announced that UGA doctoral student Abhijit Sarmah is among 12 finalists for the 2023 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships. The five Fellowship recipients, who will be announced in late August, will each receive $27,000 and an invitation to publish in Poetry magazine. All 12 finalists will receive a stipend to attend a professional development opportunity of their choice.

Abhijit Sarmah is a second-year PhD student in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of English. A poet and researcher of Indigenous writings, with focus on Native American women writers and literatures from the Northeast of India, Sarmah holds a master's of philosophy degree in English literature from Dibrugarh University in India. His work is published in Poetry magazine, The MarginsLunch TicketGlassworks magazine, Porter House ReviewLincoln Review, and others. He has been nominated for Best of the Net and for a Pushcart Prize.

A UGA Arts Lab Graduate Fellow, Sarmah is working on a hybrid memoir. Apart from his scholarly and creative work, he volunteers for various events at UGA, and was a selection committee member for Backlight Student Film Festival 2023 and a planning committee member for the International Street Festival 2023.  

“I couldn’t have achieved this without the support and guidance of Professor LeAnne Howe and Professor Channette Romero as well as my wonderful friends at UGA," Sarmah said. "I would like to thank Professor Howe for proofreading my poems and Professor Romero for her critical feedback on my application for the fellowship.”   

"Abhijit Sarmah is a promising young voice in political poetry from Northeast India - a unique literary tradition that shares more similarities with socially engaged and political writing produced by Native American, African American, and African Anglophone writers than South Asian Anglophone writing," said Aruni Kashyap, associate professor of English and Creative Writing and director of the Creative Writing Program at UGA. "His work is radical, fresh, and subversive in questioning state atrocities in India and we are proud to have him in our program, as it shows the cutting-edge work that many of our graduate students produce and, in turn, start new conversations in the literary landscape of the United States."

Image: Abhijit Sarmah (submitted photo)

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