Robert Wood Lynn
Robert Wood Lynn is the author of the poetry collection Mothman Apologia (Yale University Press, 2022), winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize, and the chapbook How to Maintain Eye Contact (Button Poetry, 2023). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Harvard Review, Poetry Daily, Ploughshares,the Southern Review,the Yale Review, and other publications. His writing has been recognized with fellowships, residencies, and awards from the James Merrill House, New York University, the Academy of American Poets, and other institutions. He holds an MFA in poetry from New York University and currently lives in Rockbridge County, Virginia.
I’m a believer in poetry—its ability to reach people precisely where other media cannot, about the personal and interior subjects that cannot be articulated in any other form. The way it allows us to hold two conflicting emotions or ideas in our heads at the same time without forcing resolution. With this in mind, my writing has always been an effort to focus on the forgotten and overlooked—narratives and moments that deserve to be written about but otherwise might not be. Most importantly, it aims to connect with readers exactly as it finds them, however, wherever, and whenever it does. I hope my poems grow in their capacity to do these things over time; receiving a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship is a chance to let them.
First and foremost, this NEA Fellowship is the gift of time: the time to devote to writing, to the research and human interactions that inform that writing, and to the community involvement that results from the writing. I look forward to using this grant to continue to travel around Virginia, West Virginia, and surrounding areas connecting with people in service of this. I am honored by this gift, and humbled to join the list of current and past awardees. I am most grateful that this fellowship will allow me to continue to reach others and make something others may find value in.