Poet Wins Rome Prize

Prof. Samiya Bashir named as a fellow by the American Academy in Rome.

By Sebastian Zinn ’18 | April 9, 2019

Prof. Samiya Bashir [creative writing 2012–] has won a prestigious Rome Prize, awarded by the American Academy in Rome to honor artists and scholars who represent “the highest standard of excellence” and who are in the early or middle stages of their careers.

The fellowship is designed to support “intellectual and artistic freedom, interdisciplinary exchange, and innovation,” and this year’s 30 fellows include scholars, artists, musicians, architects, thinkers, and preservation/conservation specialists who will spend a year at the academy in Rome.

Prof. Bashir teaches creative writing at Reed and is the author of three full-length collections of poetry. Her most recent book, Field Theories, won the 2018 Oregon Book Award/Stafford-Hall award for poetry. Its title poem won the 2019 Pushcart Prize. She has earned numerous other awards, grants, fellowships, and residencies.

No stranger to artistic collaboration, Bashir created six “video poems” based on poems from Field Theories with video artist Roland Dahwen Wu ’13 of Patuá Films and dancer Keyon Gaskin of Physical Education. The artistic and cultural legacy that she will carry to Rome will include a purposeful and experimental approach to articulating American myths and the complexity of the Black American experience.

Tags: Awards & Achievements, International, Professors