Trimble Wins NEA Fellowship!

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ASU Faculty Member Wins Important National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship Worth $25,000! 

By: Kenneth Mullinax/ASU. 

A member of Alabama State University's faculty, who is recognized for her published works of poetry, has been awarded a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Creative Writing Fellowship. 

ASU's Dr. Jacqueline Trimble is one of only 35 writers in the United States who will receive a 2021 Creative Writing Fellowship of $25,000 from the NEA. Trimble is a professor of English and serves as the chair of the University's Department of Languages and Literatures. 

"The National Endowment for the Arts only bestows this award to poets every other year, which makes it very special and most important to me," Trimble said. "While the monetary award is fantastic, the most important thing to me is the level of recognition and encouragement this fellowship gives me as a writer by having a jury of my peers to choose my manuscript out of a total of 1,601 in a blind competition. This makes me feel that my long hours of writing poetry is worthwhile and being named an NEA Fellow is personally awe-inspiring to me.” 

This year’s poetry fellowships and the $25,000 stipends will allow Trimble and the other Fellows the opportunity to concentrate more on writing projects, travel and research into topics to help advance their writing careers. 


Trimble and the other Fellows were selected through a very anonymous and competitive process, which allowed their entries to be judged solely on the basis of the artistic excellence of the work sample and not by their reputation or previous honors, stated Amy Stolls, director of literary arts at the Arts Endowment.  

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these 35 talented poets through Creative Writing Fellowships,” Stolls said. “These fellowships often provide writers with crucial support and encouragement, and in return our nation is enriched by their artistic contributions in the years to come.” 


Trimble's debut collection of poetry, "American Happiness," was first published in 2016 by Montgomery-based NewSouth Books. Her inaugural book won the 2016 Balcones Poetry Prize.   

The poet laureate of Alabama, Jennifer Horne, wrote the following about Trimble's debut collection: “Her grace is in the anger distilled to the bitter draft you savor as it bites.” 


ASU's Trimble is no stranger to being recognized for her excellence in writing since she won the 2016 Balcones Prize. 

In 2017, she was named a Literary Fellow on the Alabama State Council on the Arts and she is also a Cave Canem Fellow. Her poetry has been published in several important literary journals and in anthologies, which include The Night’s Magician: Poems About the Moon, edited by Phillip C. Kolin and Sue Brennan Walker, and the soon to be published The Beautiful, a collection of poems representing each of America's 50 states. In 2019, Trimble expanded into a new writing medium and wrote five television episode-scripts for a South African TV program.  

"While I have written poems all of my life, I just recently began writing lengthy collections of my poetry and having the works published within the last five years or so. Winning the NEA Fellowship has given me just the right amount of encouragement that I needed to move into the next chapter of my writing," Trimble replied.  


Since 1967, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded more than 3,600 Creative Writing Fellowships totaling more than $56 million. Many American recipients of the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and Fiction, National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award were recipients of the NEA fellowships. 

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104. 

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