Reginald Flood, associate professor of English and coordinator of the African American Studies Program at Eastern, has been named the recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Announced on Nov. 27, the fellowship brings with it a cash award of $25,000.
Competition for the grant is rigorous. Of 1,173 applications, only 40 received grants.
"This award is a testament to the quality of Professor Flood's work and his commitment to his scholarship," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. "His dedication to his students is a further reminder of why we are so fortunate to have him at Eastern."
NEA fellowships enable recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel and general career advancement. Flood says he is thrilled. "I feel this award is validation for a writing project of mine that pushes some boundaries." Flood's first book, "Coffle," was published in March 2012. A collection of poems written in traditional forms that complement canonical slave narratives, "Coffle" is the first in what Flood hopes will be a trilogy. "I did not know how poems about Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass or Mary Prince would be received; it is gratifying to know some careful readers found they had value." Flood said he plans to use the fellowship to extend his sabbatical into the summer, and will travel to conduct research for the second collection of poetry in his trilogy, "There is Still War in the World."
"There is Still War in the World" focuses on slave narratives recorded during the Great Depression as part of the Works Progress Administration Federal Writer's Project (WPA). "The fellowship will give me the financial ability to retrace the journey many of the former slaves made from Mississippi to Arkansas as slaves before they were freed," said Flood.
Kenneth McNeil, professor of English and chair of the English Department, has published a chapter in a new book on Sir Walter Scott. "The Edinburgh Companion to Sir Walter Scott," published by Edinburgh University Press. The publisher says the book, edited by Fiona Robertson, is considered to "the most concentrated and wide-ranging study of Walter Scott's work available; the first collection of its kind devoted to Scott's work. It draws on the innovative research which has revitalized the study of Scott's exceptionally diverse writing in recent years."