Columbus State Selects Creative Writing Fellow

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University’s Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians has selected poet Jessica Garratt for its 2010 Marguerite and Lamar Smith Writing Fellowship.

Jessica GarrattGarratt, who won the 2008 Agha Shahid Ali Prize from a University of Utah-hosted international competition for her poetry book Fire Pond, will work and reside this fall in the Columbus, Ga., childhood home of celebrated American writer Carson McCullers.

Garratt, 33, is the fifth recipient of the competitive fellowship named for McCullers’ parents and inspired by McCullers’ experiences at the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference and the Yaddo Arts Colony in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Garratt, who grew up in rural Maryland, will join Columbus State as a doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri, where she holds a creative writing fellowship. She also has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her MFA.

Her poems also have appeared in Shenandoah, Michigan Quarterly Review, North American Review, The Missouri Review and other journals.

CSU operates the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians to preserve the legacy of Carson McCullers, nurture American writers and musicians, educate youth and foster the literary and musical life of Columbus, the State of Georgia, and the American South.

The center, based at the McCullers house, presents educational and cultural programs for the community, maintains an archive of materials related to the life and work of McCullers and provides fellowships for composers and writers, such as Garratt.

For more information, go to or contact Cathy Fussell, director of the center, at 706 565-4021 or by e-mail: