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Photo by Michael Dantzler



Len Lawson is author of Negro Asylum for the Lunatic Insane (Main Street Rag, 2023), Chime (Get Fresh Books, 2019), and the chapbook Before the Night Wakes You (Finishing Line Press, 2017). He is also co-editor of The Future of Black: Afrofuturism, Black Comics, and Superhero Poetry (Blair Press, 2021) and Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race (Muddy Ford Press, 2017). South Carolina Humanities awarded him a 2022 Governor's Award for Fresh Voices in the Humanities.  He has received fellowships from Tin House Summer Workshop, Palm Beach Poetry Festival, Callaloo Barbados, Vermont Studio Center, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts among others. His poetry appears in African American Review, Callaloo, Mississippi Review, Ninth Letter, Verse Daily, Poetry Northwest, and has been translated internationally. Len earned a PhD in English Literature and Criticism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry, at Queens University of Charlotte . Born and living in South Carolina, he is currently Assistant Professor of English at Newberry College.




  • PhD in English Literature & Criticism, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

  • MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry, Queens University of Charlotte

  • MA in English, National University

  • BS in Business Administration, Winthrop University

Screenwriting Honors

  • 2023 Finalist, TheBlkScript TV Pilot Screenplay List (inaugural)

  • 2023 Quarterfinalist,  Filmmatic TV Pilot Awards Season 8 

Academic/Scholarly Honors

  • 2023 Winthrop University Alumni Achievement Award

  • 2022 SC Humanities Governor's Award for Fresh Voices in the Humanities

  • 2021 IUP Carter G. Woodson Outstanding Graduate Student Award

  • 2020 IUP Outstanding Doctoral Student Award

  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society

  • 2013 SCICU Excellence in Teaching Award

  • 2012-13 Morris College Professor of the Year Award

  • 2011-12 Morris College Advisor of the Year Award

Poetry Awards/Honors

  • 2021 Poetry Northwest Reading Series Finalist

  • 2021 Palette Poetry Prize Third Place

  • 2019 Pen Parentis Scholarship020

  • 2019 Emrys Foundation Alice Conger Patterson Scholarship

  • 2018 Gigantic Sequins Poetry Prize Finalist

  • 2018 Richland County Library "Ten South Carolina Poets to Watch"

  • 2016 Jasper Magazine Artist of the Year in Literary Arts

  • 2016 Mississippi Review Poetry Prize Finalist

  • 2016 Yellow Chair Review Chapbook Competition Finalist

  • 2015 Berfrois Poetry Prize Finalist (UK, inaugural)

  • 2015, 2019 Pushcart Prize Nominee 

  • 2015, 2016 Best of the Net Nominee

Poetry Fellowships/Writers Retreats

  • 2021 Tin House Summer Workshop

  • 2021 Palm Beach Poetry Festival Langston Hughes Fellowship

  • 2020 Obsidian Foundation Fellowship (UK; inaugural)

  • 2020 SC Academy of Authors Carrie McCray Nickens Fellowship in Poetry

  • 2018 NC Poetry Society Susan Laughter Myers Poetry Fellowship (inaugural)

  • 2018 Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship

  • 2017 Vermont Studio Center Fellowship

  • 2016 Callaloo Barbados Creative Writing Workshop Fellowship

  • 2014, 2020, 2021 The Watering Hole Fellowship Graduate

Poetry Positions held

  • 2022 Poetry Editor, Qu Literary Magazine

  • 2021 Curatorial Editor, Poets Reading the News

  • 2020 Associate Poetry Editor, Poets Reading the News

  • 2020 Guest Editor, Glass Poetry Journal

  • 2017-2019 Poetry Reader, Up the Staircase Quarterly

Arts/Humanities Positions

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