Hannah Loeb of Wallingford, who graduated from Kingswood Oxford School in 2008 and is set to graduate from Yale University next week, has been named the recipient of a yearlong paid fellowship to write poetry.
The Frederick Mortimer Clapp Fellowship funds a $35,000 prize to one graduating Yale English major who has demonstrated a serious interest in writing English poetry.
Loeb said she plans to start her fellowship in September, after spending the first part of the summer touring with Whim ’n Rhythm, Yale’s all-senior, all-female a cappella group, and the second part interning at Tupelo Press, a publishing company in North Adams, Mass.
She said she then plans to spend a few months in California living in a relative’s cabin, where she hopes to create new works. Her next stops will be on the East Coast, eventually landing in New York City for six months. While the “plan” may not be anything to speak of, she said, “I hope the work will be something to speak of.”
Loeb said her time at KO, especially in the School’s English department, prepared her well for her time at Yale. “I came to Yale so prepared to write 20-page papers,” she said. “I have spent a lot of time being grateful to KO for my English education there.”
She said KO’s Senior Thesis was particularly beneficial. “It’s definitely true that the Senior Thesis project is the most collegiate experience that you can have in high school before coming to college,” she said. Through driving her own investigation to complete the thesis, she said, “I learned that school isn’t just something that happens to you … you are an active agent.”
Loeb said this also rings true for her writing. “There’s nothing there, and I have to convince myself that this idea I have is worth trying,” she said. “You imagine yourself in a world in which one more poem exists, and it’s your poem, and it’s a better world because of it.”