UCR Poet a National Book Award Finalist

English professor Fred Moten honored for “The Feel Trio”

Fred Moten

English professor Fred Moten is a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Fred Moten, a professor of English at the University of California, Riverside, is one of five finalists for the prestigious National Book Award in Poetry. He was nominated for this collection of poetry titled “The Feel Trio” (Letter Machine Editions).

The National Book Foundation announced 10 nominees in each of four categories – Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature – in New York in September, and finalists were announced today. The winners will be named on Nov. 19. The National Book Award is the nation’s highest honor in literature.

Other finalists in the poetry category are Louise Glück, Fanny Howe, Maureen N. McLane, and Claudia Rankine.

“I’m honored to be in the company of my fellow nominees, all of whom are wonderful poets and I’m especially happy for my publisher, Letter Machine Editions, which is probably the smallest press ever to have a National Book Award finalist,” Moten said. “It shows the vitality of the small press community, of which I am especially proud to be a member.”

Stephen Cullenberg, dean of the UCR College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS), where Moten teaches, said he is “enormously proud” of the accomplishments Moten and Jane Smiley, distinguished professor of creative writing who was longlisted for the National Book Award in Fiction for her novel “Some Luck.”

“This recognition of Fred Moten is well-deserved, and acknowledges UC Riverside as an institution that values rigorous scholarship and creative genius,” he said. “Fred is brilliant, a genuine superstar in a galaxy of hot novas that is CHASS.”

Fred is well-known in the academic world as an “electrifying, transformative scholar and critic in the field of African American literature and culture,” said Deborah Willis, chair of the Department of English. “He is also an outstanding poet whose experimental, genre-bending body of work has already won honors from the Poetry Foundation, the Poetry Society of America, and the Penn Center for Poetry. His work as a scholar, theorist, and poet truly puts him in a league all his own.”

Moten is the author of “In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition,” “Hughson’s Tavern,” “B. Jenkins,” and co-author, with Stefano Harney, of “The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study.” He was recognized as one of 10 New American Poets by the Poetry Society of America. He is also co-founder and co-publisher of a small literary press called Three Count Pour.

Publishers submitted a total of 417 books for the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction, and 219 books for the National Book Award for Poetry. Five judges in each category selected what they deemed to be the best books of the year. Nominated books must have been written by a U.S. citizen and published in the United States between Dec. 1, 2013, and Nov. 30, 2014.

The National Book Foundation’s mission is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-7847
E-mail: bettye.miller@ucr.edu
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Additional Contacts

Fred Moten
Tel: (951) 827- 1454
E-mail: Frederick.Moten@ucr.edu

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