Kimberly Reyes – 2019-2020, Study, Ireland
My name is Kimberly Reyes and I’m a poet, essayist, and second-generation New Yorker, a Nuyorican (of Black and Puerto Rican heritage). My work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Associated Press, Entertainment Weekly, Time.com, The New York Post, The Village Voice, Alternative Press, ESPN the Magazine, Jane, NY1 News, The Best American Poetry blog, poets.org, The Feminist Wire, and Columbia Journal, among other places. I’ve received fellowships and scholarships from Columbia University, the Poetry Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, Callaloo at Brown University, Summer Literary Seminars in Kenya, the Prague Summer Program for Writers, the Center for Cultural Innovation, and San Francisco State University. I'm the author of the poetry collections Running to Stand Still (Omnidawn, OUT TODAY!!!) and Warning Coloration (dancing girl press), and my nonfiction book of essays Life During Wartime (Fourteen Hills) won the 2018 Micheal Rubin Book Award.
All of that is quite a mouthful but I was still terrified to apply for a Fulbright assuming I didn’t take the traditional path to an award and was therefore a long shot. And maybe I was a long shot, but the underdog story was something I thought Black Americans and Irish people in Ireland had in common. A big part of my writing success is that I embraced my literary inspirations in Ireland, spoke very clearly about that in my essays, and now I currently live in Cork as the 2019-2020 Fulbright fellow earning a master’s in Irish Literature and Film at University College Cork. I wasn’t afraid to follow my dreams, no matter how seemingly unattainable and no matter how late in life.
I hope I inspire someone to do the same! #fulbrightlatinx