English professor awarded prestigious MacDowell Fellowship

July 31, 2017
Nicky Beer

Nicky Beer, an associate professor of English at the University of Colorado Denver, has been awarded a fellowship for residency at the prestigious MacDowell Colony, one of the nation’s leading contemporary arts programs.

The highly competitive fellowship, valued at around $10,000, provides fellows with uninterrupted time to work, a private studio and accommodations, and unique multidisciplinary exchange with other artists at the 450 acre retreat in southwestern New Hampshire.

Beer plans to use her two-week stay at MacDowell to work on poems for her third book, Real Phonies and Genuine Fakes, which explores benign fakery like ventriloquism and optical illusions, as well as more malicious frauds like plagiarism, forgery, and pickpocketing.

Beer is well known in the literary community in Denver. In 2016 she won the Colorado Book Award for Poetry for her latest book, The Octopus Game. Beer won the same prominent award for her first book, The Diminishing House, in 2011. Her poems have been published in The New Yorker, Best American Poetry, Poetry, The Nation, The Southern Review, and elsewhere.

MacDowell has been referred to as the “gold standard” of colonies for artists—only about 30 people from across many artistic disciplines are housed at the colony at a given time. Beer joins the ranks of other well-known writers who have been awarded MacDowell residencies, including James Baldwin, Willa Cather, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, Studs Terkel, and Thornton Wilder. About 300 fellowships are awarded each year. Beer’s residency will begin in November.