Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Honored With James Laughlin Award

Geffrey Davis
By University Relations

Geffrey Davis

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Geffrey Davis, assistant professor in the Program in Creative Writing and Translation at the University of Arkansas, has been awarded the prestigious James Laughlin Award for Night Angler, a collection of poems due for release in 2019 by BOA Editions.

The award is named for the poet and publisher James Laughlin. Davis will receive a prize of $5,000, an all-expenses-paid weeklong residency at The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, and his book will be sent to approximately one thousand members of the Academy of American Poets.

The James Laughlin Award is sponsored by the Academy of American Poets and has been offered since 1954. It is given to recognize and support a second book of poetry forthcoming in the next calendar year. Past winners include some of the most notable names in American letters, such as Carolyn Forche, Sharon Olds and Li-Young Lee. Davis’s first collection of poems, Revising the Storm (BOA Editions, 2014), received the A. Poulin, Jr. Prize.

“We are so proud of the tremendous honor Geffrey has received, and thrilled that his work is being recognized nationally,” said Davis McCombs, program director.

Awards judge Craig Santos Perez described Night Angler as “poems about coming to terms with a drug-addicted father, coming of age as a ‘black boy’ in America, and coming through the ‘wilderness of worry’ as a husband and new parent amid racial violence and environmental injustice. Throughout, the poet displays a fidelity to poetic craft and innovative technique that few second books ever achieve.”


About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations


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