The Loft Literary Center has announced this year's winners of the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Writers. Four Minnesota poets/spoken word artists, and one children's author have been chosen out of 135 applicants.
The poetry winners are:
Sierra DeMulder, a two-time National Poetry Slam champion and the author of "The Bones Below" and "New Shoes on a Dead Horse"; she lives in Minneapolis.
Danez Smith, author of "hands on ya knees." His book, "[insert] Boy," will be published this year. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, PANK, The Cortland Review, and elsewhere.
Sun Yung Shin, author of "Rough, and Savage," "Skirt Full of Black," and other books. She edits the online journal "This Spectral Evidence" and lives in Minneapolis.
And Carolyn Williams-Noren of Minneapolis, who is working on her first book.
The winner in children's literature is Molly Beth Griffin, author of "Loon Baby" and "Silhouette of a Sparrow."
Griffin received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University and now teaches at the Loft.
Honorable mention went to Rita Moe, Kristin Naca and Tracy Youngblood in poetry, and Michael Hall, David LaRochelle and Janet Lawson in children's literature.
Judges for the competition were poet Nikky Finney, whose fourth book, "Head Off & Split," won the 2011 National Book Award, and Jordan Brown, an editor who has worked with Anne Ursu, Chris Rylander, Steve Brezenoff, and many others.
This is the 32nd year for the McKnight fellowships, which are supported by the McKnight Foundation. Previous winners include Robert Bly, James Moore, Patricia Hampl, Lorna Landvik, Anne Ursu and so many others.