Matthew Gellman's chapbook, Night Logic, was selected by Denise Duhamel as the winner of Tupelo Press' 2021 Snowbound Chapbook Award and is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. Gellman's poems are featured or forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Narrative, Indiana Review, the Common, Ninth Letter, the Missouri Review, North American Review, Waxwing, Lambda Literary's Poetry Spotlight, and elsewhere. A recipient of a Brooklyn Poets fellowship and an Academy of American Poets prize, Gellman was also awarded the Adroit Journal's Djanikian Scholarship in 2020 and has received residencies and fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the New York State Summer Writer’s Institute. His manuscript, Beforelight, has been a finalist for Tupelo Press' Berkshire Prize, Four Way Books' Levis Prize, Ohio University Press' Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, the Alice James Award, and BOA Editions' A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. He holds an MFA from Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
I am thrilled to be one of this year’s National Endowment for the Arts Fellows for so many reasons, but largely because of the permission this award has given me to trust my own instincts on the page. Poetry has been a central aspect of my identity for as long as I can remember, serving as a fundamental means through which I seek both self-understanding and connection with others. However, amidst the challenges of getting my book-length manuscript published—as well as carving out time to create—I was starting to question my abilities and future as a writer. Being given an honor of this caliber has granted me fresh motivation to keep going, to keep re-working my poems with renewed belief that I am on the right track. Now, I feel affirmed in my hunger to not give up. I also feel that I can more easily take risks and venture into new creative territory as I try to represent queer experiences in a way that makes readers feel less alone.