Announcing Hua Xi as “Poets To Come” Scholar

The Gwenn A. Nusbaum / WWBA Poets To Come Scholarship Committee has selected Hua Xi (they/she) as the 2022 Scholarship recipient.  

During the scholarship year, Hua plans to publish a first chapbook of poetry and finish a first poetry book manuscript.  Hua is interested in the mind and its internal languages, and writes about ways “we internally process the pain of the world.  The interior world can be as vast as the actual one, a place where things happen both forwards and backwards, simultaneously and years apart, where everything is true but nothing is real.”

Hua began major poetry publication in 2018 and has received writing awards from Yale Writing Center Essay Contest and Boston Review Poetry Contest, among other awards, with essays published in the Harvard Review and the Wall Street Journal. Hua is a first-generation immigrant and has served as a family caretaker. Hua received a BA in Media Studies from Yale University, and is currently teaching poetry at the Parsons School of Design at The New School.

WWBA congratulates Hua Xi and offers appreciation to all applicants for Gwenn A. Nusbaum / WWBA Poets To Come Scholarship Award.  

Gwenn A. Nusbaum is a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work, psychoanalyst, and poet. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Hofstra University, minoring in English, and her Master of Social Work from New York University. She also earned additional post-graduate certifications in a myriad of psychotherapeutic modalities. For nearly four decades, Gwenn has maintained a psychoanalytic private practice in the East Village of Manhattan where she also resides, specializing in the treatment of trauma-related problems. From 1990 until 2017, she developed and led therapy groups for women having histories of childhood sexual traumas. Gwenn has taught, written, and published articles on this and relevant themes. In 2020, having also worked with artists from all genres, Gwenn expanded her practice to include coaching emerging and established creatives, as well as entrepreneurs. Enthralled with the versality of language, Gwenn gravitated to writing poems in her early teens. In addition to attending a variety of conferences and workshops with contemporary poetry masters, she had the privilege of engaging in a 20-year mentoring friendship with the late poet, memoirist, and librettist, Colette Inez. Believing in the spirit of mentoring and facilitating writing in others, Gwenn also trained as an Amherst Writers and Artists Certified Workshop Leader, which fosters a non-hierarchal way of encouraging others to write. Gwenn’s poems have received a Pushcart Nomination and Honorary Mention. They appear in several on-line and print literary journals including Brief Wilderness, Confrontation, Cumberland River Review, Edison Literary Review, Louisville Review, Passager, The Phoenix, Plainsongs, Rattle, Salamander, and Schuylkill Valley Journal. She is also the author of a poetry chapbook, Normal War. Most recently, Gwenn gave a virtual reading as a keynote poet for the Long Island-based, Poetry Street on the Road.

Walt Whitman Birthplace Association (WWBA) founded the Gwenn A. Nusbaum / WWBA “Poets To Come” Scholarship Award. This $1500 scholarship is offered in the spirit of Walt Whitman’s poem, “Poets to Come: POETS to come! / Not to-day is to justify me and answer what I am for,/ But you, a new brood…/Leaving it to you to prove and define it,/Expecting the main things from you.”

Applications were sought from those poets at the beginning of their careers, ages 25-35 years. This scholarship, to be awarded every year, aims to encourage and assist an emerging poet in their creative poetry writing endeavors. Their emerging poetry career should be of exceptional artistic quality and societal import, and should demonstrate a passion for poetry, an awareness of the power of the poem, an originality of perspective and skillful use of expressive language. They will be expected to produce additional highly significant work during the scholarship timeline of one year, July 1, 2022 – July 1, 2023.

This year, due to Covid precautions, the Award Ceremony will be held as a virtual Zoom event on June 23, 2022, 7-8 PM.
This scholarship was founded by and is made possible with the generous support of WWBA Trustee Gwenn A. Nusbaum, LCSW, and published poet. Support also comes from WWBA Trustees, Members and Donors. Gwenn Nusbaum states, “The scholarship program aims to draw interest to the Whitman legacy, the Whitman Birthplace and to encourage emerging poets of promising talent.” The Award is administered by WWBA. The winner was selected by an independent and diverse panel of five (5) judges. The panelists for 2022 include poets Cornelius Eady, Dean Kostos, Molly Peacock and WWBA representatives Trustee Robert Savino and Executive Director Cynthia Shor. Funding is to be used for supportive activities to further their writing career, for example, college tuition/fees, writing courses and conferences. WWBA offers Association support which may include use of the WWBA Archive & Library, consultations with Archive Curator, letters of introduction, and promotional articles and activities. The honoree will be featured on the WWBA website and is invited to conclude their award year with a poetry reading at the Whitman Birthplace in person or via Zoom in July 2023.  Poet Panelists >>    Scholarship information >>

This event has a $5 suggested donation:  https://www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/2197152

YouTube Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3YqbyyANSM&ab_channel=WaltWhitman