Faison wins UNC scholarship in creative writing

Anna K. Faison of Aiken, S.C., has been awarded a Thomas Wolfe Scholarship, a full four-year scholarship in creative writing to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the scholarship program in the College of Arts and Sciences, which was established in 2001 with a gift to UNC from Frank Borden Hanes Sr. ’42 of Winston-Salem. It honors Carolina alumnus Thomas Wolfe, best known for his 1929 novel, “Look Homeward, Angel.”

Faison attended South Aiken High School and the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.

Faison has won prizes for her poetry and nonfiction writing, including the first place Kenyon Review Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize, and first place and honorable mentions for the Hollins University Nancy Thorpe Poetry Prize. She has been published in the Kenyon Review, the New Mexico Poetry Review, the Hollins University student literary magazine and Greenville Magazine.

Faison wrote in her application essay that “I don’t write because I want to say something to other people.”

“I write because I have something to say to myself and turn it over until it makes some semblance of sense, until it teaches me something about my own life or the world around me. I write because there are things I will never understand and people that I will never get to know and places that I will never see. Because there is heartbreak and fear of the time we’re allotted and something I can’t describe with words, though I will always be trying.”

Faison counts Naomi Shihab Nye, Amy Hempel and Susan Orlean among her favorite writers. She enjoys reading, writing, knitting, cooking, orienteering, taking walks, people-watching, Boggle, dodgeball and hiking. Among her most memorable travels are a family vacation to South Korea, driving cross-country with her sisters and doing missions work in Haiti. She has served as an ESL tutor and arts mentor to kids in her local community.

“This year’s applicants for the Thomas Wolfe Scholarship yielded a true embarrassment of riches,” said Marianne Gingher, professor of English and comparative literature and co-director of the scholarship program. “All three finalists for this award will enter UNC this fall. Anna Faison emerged from our pool of finalists as not only a gifted poet but demonstrating remarkable strengths as a prose writer as well. Our committee was impressed by her poise, her friendliness, her obvious devotion to writing and reading, her range of subject matter, her rich and provocative use of language and her mature sensibility, both on the page and in person.

Related link: http://englishcomplit.unc.edu/creative/scholarships/tws