ANNOUNCING THE INAUGURAL RAYMOND PLANK - UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON FELLOWSHIP IN CREATIVE WRITING AT UCROSS
UCROSS, WY (September 10, 2020) — Ucross and the University of Houston Creative Writing Program today announced a new partnership to support UH writers at Ucross in northeastern Wyoming. The Raymond Plank – University of Houston Fellowship in Creative Writing, named in honor of the founder of Ucross, will provide a four-week residency and stipend to one writer each year. Onyinye Ihezukwu has been selected as the first award winner and will come to Ucross this month.
"As a shift from routine and everyday life, I expect that my time at Ucross will expand my creativity and enable me to push forward a work in progress,” says Ihezukwu. “I look forward to interacting with both other artists and nature on such a close scale."
Onyinye Ihezukwu is a Nigerian-born writer whose fiction largely explores contemporary socio-spiritual themes. She held a 2015-2017 Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University, and she also has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia. She’s currently working on a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston. Her work has appeared in Zoetrope: All Story, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and The American Scholar, among others.
“Ucross is honored to select Onyinye Ihezukwu as the first recipient of the University of Houston-Ucross Fellowship,” said Ucross President Sharon Dynak. “Her strong writing, literary accomplishments, dedication, and wide-ranging life experience will make her a wonderful fit for our program. As she describes it, her work ‘depicts stories of Nigerian women within Africa and America, as they grapple with issues of identity, family, love, and trust.’ We look forward to supporting this emerging writer with the gift of time and space to focus on her work.”
The Raymond Plank - University of Houston Creative Writing Fellowship at Ucross was established in 2019 through an endowed gift from the Raymond N. Plank Philanthropy Fund. Ucross Trustee Deborah Koehler, who serves as Executive Director of the Fund, was instrumental in connecting Ucross to UH.