College English instructor receives Minnesota State Arts Board grant in poetry

College English instructor receives Minnesota State Arts Board grant in poetry

November 10, 2016

Anoka-Ramsey Community College English instructor, Elizabeth Tannen was awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) grant in poetry for $8,500.

Tannen will work with a mentor to generate and revise two different, in-progress poem sequences and to compile her first full-length poetry manuscript. One is a chapbook titled Dear Me, comprised of poems that are letters to different places such as Wisconsin, Mounds Park, the YMCA bathroom, Pat’s Tap and Grumpy’s. The other is a set of aubades—poems that greet the dawn—about the construction of female identity.

Tannen currently organizes and hosts a monthly reading series called Five Writers, Five Minutes, Five Watt in south Minneapolis at Five Watt Coffee, with hope of connecting her reading with the community. As part of the grant, she hopes to coordinate a reading/panel discussion with five female poets reading from and discussing their work.

“I feel very surprised and excited about winning this grant,” said Tannen. “I completed my Master in Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction in 2012, and it was only in 2014 that I began writing poetry. I was looking at this grant application as practice in presenting myself as a poet but was not expecting to actually be chosen! It is a great honor, a great gift and it validates my decision to live in Minnesota. Minnesota is really unique in its support for the arts.”

For more information about Elizabeth Tannen and her work, visit

For more information about the award-winning faculty at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, visit

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