By Jefferson Beavers
Cody, a Fresno native and recent graduate of the university’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, is the first MFA alum recognized as a National Book Award finalist. He was selected as the Graduate Dean’s Medalist for the College of Arts and Humanities this past May.
Given annually, the National Book Award is among the highest literary honors in the United States. A panel of literary experts selects winners, and the National Book Foundation honors authors in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, translated literature, and young people’s literature.
Winners will be announced Nov. 18.
Cody’s poetry collection — one of only two debut books among the 25 NBA finalists — won the 2018 Omnidawn Open Book Contest and was published in April 2020. He is a CantoMundo fellow, an associate poetry editor for Noemi Press, and a member of the Hmong American Writers’ Circle. Cody is a regular collaborator with U.S. Poet Laureate Emeritus Juan Felipe Herrera in the Laureate Lab Visual Wordist Studio, inside the Henry Madden Library on campus.