McNeese alumnus named finalist for Pulitzer Prize - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

McNeese alumnus named finalist for Pulitzer Prize

Morri Creech. (Source: McNeese Photo) Morri Creech. (Source: McNeese Photo)

Mori Creech, a 1998 graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program at McNeese State University, has been named a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

Creech is being nominated for his work in "The Sleep of Reason."

"I had no idea I was a finalist…I got a text from my oldest daughter, Hattie, congratulating me, but I wasn't sure what she was congratulating me about until my publisher called during class to tell me. I just couldn't believe it," said Creech in a statement.

"The MFA program at McNeese really nourished my creativity--I wouldn't have written any of these poems, or known what I was doing formally, without the enormous influence, instruction and encouragement of MFA program founder John Wood, who was the best teacher I've ever had," Creech added.

"We are delighted and proud about Morri's accomplishment," said MFA director Amy Fleury. " ‘The Sleep of Reason' is Morri's third book and it's a profound and elegant collection of poetry. Morri was a student here in our program from 1995-98 and he later taught here for many years... (It was) evident right away that he was a very gifted poet and good-hearted guy."

Creech currently serves as an assistant professor of English and a writer-in-residence at Queens University in North Carolina.

In the past, he was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize and a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Modern Poetry Foundation.

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