Five Minnesota writers have each received a $25,000 McKnight Artist Fellowship for their ongoing work. This year's awards were in the categories of poetry, spoken-word and literature for young children.
Honored were Lauren Stringer, whose picture book, "Mud," was a Minnesota Book Award winner; Blythe Baird, a spoken-word artist whose collection, "If My Body Could Speak" was published last year by Button Poetry; and poets Michael Torres, Jacob Lindberg, and Claire Wahmanholm.
Torres, who teaches at University of Minnesota-Mankato, will publish his first collection, "Incomplete List of Names," this year with Beacon Press. Lindberg lives in Victoria and edits Up North Lit. Wahmanholm lives in the Twin Cities and has had three collections published, including one by Milkweed Editions of Minneapolis.
This year's judges were Natalie Diaz, Patricia Smith and Uma Krishnaswami.
The honorable mentions for these awards were Phyllis Root (Minneapolis), Matt Lilley (Fridley), and Kao Kalia Yang (Saint Paul) for children's books; Tish Jones (Saint Paul), Jeffrey Skemp (Minneapolis), and Rebecca Nichloson (Minneapolis) for spoken word, and Valerie Deus (Minneapolis), Jennifer Kwon Dobbs (Saint Paul), and Preeti Kaur Rajpal (Minneapolis).
The Loft Literary Center of Minneapolis and the McKnight Foundation have partnered since 1982 on fellowships for Minnesota writers.