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Professor’s manuscript is finalist for national poetry prize

June 2nd, 2022

Siobhan Scarry

Siobhán Scarry, a member of the Bethel English faculty, had her new poetry manuscript selected as a finalist for the Dorset Prize from Tupelo Press.

Tupelo is a literary press in North Adams, Mass., founded in 1999 to publish poetry, fiction and nonfiction.

The Dorset Prize is a major national competition open to any poetry manuscript written in English.

Scarry, associate professor of English, began teaching at Bethel College in 2014.

She has a B.A. from the University of Arizona, an M.A. in English literature and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Montana, and a Ph.D. in English literature from the State University of New York-Buffalo.

Scarry’s research and teaching interests include American literature from the 19th century to the present, with a focus on 20th-century poetry and poetics; modernism; and gender and sexuality studies.

Her recent scholarly and creative interests focus on environmental literature and ecopoetics.

Her critical studies on 20th- and 21st-century poetries have appeared in Reading Duncan Reading: Robert Duncan and the Poetics of Derivation (University of Iowa Press, 2012), Paideuma (December 2013), Southern Humanities Review (2016) and Sagetrieb  (forthcoming, 2022).

Scarry is also a creative writer. Her first book of poetry, Pilgrimly, was published by Parlor Press/Free Verse Editions in January 2014.

Juliana Spahr called the book’s poems “luminous, complicated and full of ecotonalities.”

Scarry is also published widely in national literary magazines such as Colorado ReviewMid-American ReviewNew Letters and Terrain.

She was recently awarded a Brown Foundation Fellowship, which offered her a residency at the Dora Maar house in southern France.

The fellowship enabled her to complete (A)Pastoral, the manuscript she submitted for the Dorset Prize.

In addition to her teaching duties at Bethel, Scarry is the adviser for the annual Bethel student and alumni literary magazine, YAWP!.

“The finalist list is some fine company to be in,” Scarry said, adding that she is now looking forward to “when the book finds its publishing home.”

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel ranks at #15 in the Washington Monthly list of “Best Bachelor’s Colleges” and #31 in U.S. News & World Report, Best Regional Colleges Midwest, both for 2021-22. Bethel was the only Kansas college or university selected for the American Association of College & Universities’ 2021 Institute on Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation, and has been named a TRHT Campus Center. For more information, see

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.