Wesley McNair

Wesley McNair

Fellow: Awarded 1986

Field of Study: Poetry

Competition: US & Canada

Website: http://wesleymcnair.umf.maine.edu/

Wesley McNair’s latest book is Lovers of the Lost: New & Selected Poems. He has authored or edited eighteen books, including poetry, nonfiction, and anthologies.

In addition to his Guggenheim Fellowship, McNair has held a grant from the Fulbright Foundations, two Rockefeller Fellowships, an NEH Fellowship in literature, and two NEA fellowships. In 2006, he was selected for a United States Artists Fellowship of $50,000 as one of “America’s finest living artists.” Other honors include the Devins Award for Poetry, the Jane Kenyon Award, the Robert Frost Award, the Theodore Roethke Prize, the Eunice Tietjens Prize from Poetry magazine, an Emmy Award, and the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal, and three honorary degrees for literary distinction.

McNair has served four times on the nominating committee for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, and in 2010 served as guest editor in poetry for the Pushcart Prize anthology. His work has appeared in two editions of The Best American Poetry, and over fifty anthologies. His poetry has been featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition (Saturday and Sunday editions) and fourteen episodes of The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor.

Colby College, where McNair has served as a visiting professor in creative writing, acquired his personal papers in 2006. In 2010, the college created an interactive website that utilizes his poetry to “increase understanding of and appreciation for the making of poetry.”

An extended essay on McNair with an interview appears in Contemporary Authors, volume 175.