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Rebecca Lee Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship

Associate Professor of Creative Writing Rebecca Lee is among the 171 scientists, writers, scholars and artists from 48 fields awarded a 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship. Each year, the foundation supports promising projects within the arts, humanities and sciences.

Lee, the author of The City Is a Rising Tide and Bobcat and Other Stories, was honored in the category of fiction. She will use the fellowship to support “a novel about a university by the sea. There are two big settings for the book so I will travel a little bit and continue to carve out time to write,” she said.

Lee received news of the fellowship via an email from Edward Hirsch, president of the Guggenheim Foundation and 1985 Fellow in Poetry, whose work she has taught to her students year after year.

“My first thought was, 'whoa, an email from Ed Hirsh,’ she said. “But then, of course, I was really grateful and happy…this gave me a huge wave of encouragement to finish the project I have worked alone on for years.”

“Bekki’s fellowship tells the world what we have long known: her nuanced, sophisticated, humane fiction is a treasure to be celebrated,” said Mark Cox, UNCW Creative Writing Department Professor and Chair. “Creative writing is proud to have Bekki among our faculty and we could not be more pleased for her.”

Clyde Edgerton, UNCW Thomas S. Kenan III Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing and past Guggenheim Fellow, echoes Cox’s praise.

“Knowing that Bekki Lee is a favorite with students and fellow faculty, we find it comforting to see that she is also a favorite with the prestigious, internationally known Guggenheim Foundation. She brings great credit to the UNCW Creative Writing Department.”

A native of Regina, Saskatchewan (a province in Canada), Lee began writing poetry as a teenager, which served as the gateway to fiction. She earned an MFA at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1992 and started teaching at UNCW in 1996.