I can’t believe I’m writing these words, but truthfully I’m beside myself with gratitude for my family, friends, and mentors, everyone who has helped get me to where I am today, which is a recipient of an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship.

Those who are familiar with the fellows program know this already, but for those who haven’t heard of it before, the National Endowment for the Arts annually gives a monetary award to a small number of published writers to provide them time and space to write. It alternates between poets and prose yearly, and this year it was poets. It’s one of the most prestigious awards for writers out there, and honestly a career goal; that I received it at such an early point (just before my first book launches) is enormously encouraging.

Below is the press release that went out in my hometown in North Carolina with more information.

I’m grateful to the NEA and its judges for this honor, and I am looking forward to creating more art to share with the world thanks to this award.

Thanks as always for reading, writing, and supporting.

—B


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National Endowment for the Arts Announces Creative Writing Fellows

Asheville’s Brandon Amico among 35 recipients nationwide; launch of his debut book happening in town on Feb 22nd

ASHEVILLE, NC — February 13, 2019 —Today, the National Endowment for the Arts announced that Brandon Amico is one of 35 poets who will receive an FY 2019 Creative Writing Fellowship of $25,000. Through its Creative Writing Fellowships, the Arts Endowment gives writers the time and space needed to create. Fellows are selected through a highly-competitive, anonymous process and are judged solely on the artistic excellence of the work sample provided.

“A recent national survey shows reading poetry is making a comeback,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “The National Endowment for the Arts supports our nation’s poets and encourages a wide range of voices and styles.”

Brandon Amico, a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, was selected from nearly 1,700 eligible applicants. Fellowships from the NEA are among the most prestigious in the literary world, and alternate between poetry and prose each year; this year’s fellowships are to support poetry. The full list of FY 2019 Creative Writing Fellows is available here.

Brandon Amico is a poet whose debut collection of poems, DISAPPEARING, INC., will be published March 12, 2019 from Gold Wake Press. He is the recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Regional Artist Grant and the Hoepfner Literary Award for poetry, awarded by Southern Humanities Review. His poetry can be found in many well-known literary journals online and in print, such as Blackbird, The Cincinnati Review, Kenyon Review, New Ohio Review, and Slice. Brandon is also a reader for Asheville-based publisher Orison Books, and works as a freelance copywriter, public relations professional, and social media strategist for businesses and authors worldwide.

Amico’s first book of poems will launch at the Juniper Bends reading series, held at Downtown Books & News in Asheville on Friday, February 22 at 7pm. The event is open to the public and there is no fee to attend. Amico will be reading from DISAPPEARING, INC. alongside two other readers, Alli Marshall and Brit Washburn, and copies of the book will be on sale and can be signed by the author on site.

Since 1967, the Arts Endowment has awarded more than 3,500 Creative Writing Fellowships totaling over $54 million. Many American recipients of the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and Fiction were recipients of NEA fellowships early in their careers.

Visit the agency’s Literature Fellowships webpage to read excerpts by and features on past Creative Writing Fellows and recipients of Literature Fellowships for translation projects. For more information on literature at the National Endowment for the Arts, go to arts.gov. To learn more about Brandon Amico, visit his website, www.brandonamico.com, or follow him on Twitter @amico.

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