Baylor English Professor and Poet Receives One of New Zealand’s Leading National Literary Awards

February 11, 2019
Chloe Honum

Baylor University English professor and accomplished poet Chloe Honum has received the 2019 Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship, New Zealand's most prestigious writing fellowship. (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, Baylor University)

Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship will allow Chloe Honum, Ph.D., to research and write during four-month residence at Sargeson Centre in Auckland

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WACO, Texas (Feb. 11, 2019) – Baylor University English professor and accomplished poet Chloe Honum wants her students to “explore poetry as a space of deep wonder, permission and possibility.” Later this spring, she will focus on her craft full-time as the recipient of the 2019 Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship, New Zealand’s most prestigious writing fellowship.

“I was deeply honored to hear that I was selected for the fellowship, which has such an important history and place in New Zealand literature,” said Honum, Ph.D., assistant professor of English in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. “It will allow me to research and work on a manuscript of poems for four months at the Sargeson Centre, in the heart of Auckland City. I grew up in Auckland, and to be returning with the purpose of writing as a Sargeson Fellow is beyond thrilling.”

Established in 1987, the Sargeson Fellowship is a national literary award offering published New Zealand writers, based both locally and internationally, with the opportunity to research and write full time through a residence, stipend and tenure at the Sargeson Centre in Auckland.

Described as one of New Zealand’s greatest literary innovators and mentor to the literary community, Frank Sargeson was a novelist and short story writer who became internationally known as the pioneer who broke from colonial literary traditions to an idiom that expressed the rhythms of New Zealand speech and experience.

“This fellowship acknowledges Chloe Honum as a leading New Zealand writer and establishes her credentials as a poet of international reputation,” said Kevin J. Gardner, Ph.D., chair and professor of English. “It also shines a glowing light on Baylor in the southern hemisphere.”

Honum joined the Baylor English faculty in 2016, sharing with her colleagues and students a passion for language, whether written, spoken or read. Her teaching focuses on creative writing through poetry, as well as on postmodern American poetry, and she loves that one of the English department’s most treasured events is the Beall Poetry Festival, a three-day celebration of some of the finest contemporary poets, with readings, a panel discussion and the Virginia Beall Ball Lecture on Contemporary Poetry.

“It’s wonderful to work at an institution where poetry is highly valued and where students have the opportunity to engage with poetry not only in courses but also through events such as the Beall Poetry Festival,” Honum said.

As she leads her students through an exploration of poetry, Honum said students form an appreciation for the way poetry invites them to slow down and pay attention to language and its impact.

“I love seeing my students find their own unique ways of expression in their poems, and I'm continually inspired by their courage and generosity in sharing them in my class,” Honum said.


Chloe Honum is the author of Then Winter (Bull City Press, 2017) and The Tulip-Flame (Cleveland State University Press, 2014), which was selected by Tracy K. Smith for the Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize, won Foreword Reviews Poetry Book of the Year Award and a Texas Institute of Letters Award, and was named a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, The Southern Review and Orion, among other journals, and she served as a guest poetry editor for the 2017 Pushcart Prize anthology. She received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, her M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Arkansas and her Ph.D. in English from Texas Tech University.

In 2017-2018, Honum was selected to participate in Baylor’s Rising Stars program, which gives early-career faculty members an intensive mentorship experience that helps put them on the fast track toward an independent, externally funded research program.


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Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.