Poet alumnus wins regional award for distinguished master’s thesis

Anthony Cody

By Jefferson Beavers | Read full story on FresnoStateNews.com

Just one week after his first book finished as a finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry, author and Fresno State alumnus Anthony Cody’s yet-to-be-published second book won a top regional award for distinguished master’s thesis.

The Western Association of Graduate Schools — a regional association of accredited graduate institutions in the western United States, Canada and the Pacific Rim — on Nov. 25 awarded Cody the WAGS-ProQuest Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award in the creative, visual and performing arts for his Master of Fine Arts thesis manuscript, “The Rendering.”

“The Rendering” is an experimental collection of poems that examines the Dust Bowl, climate change and the future. Utilizing archival documentation, photography and sound, the collection situates itself around inquiries of wholeness and annihilation within the Anthropocene.

Cody will receive $1,000 and will deliver one of four keynote presentations at the WAGS-ProQuest Awards virtual ceremony on March 22. The award selection was made based on his work’s originality, aesthetic merit, technical execution and the potential to reach beyond the original academic audience through future performance, exhibition or publication.

WAGS gave three additional top awards: distinguished master’s thesis in humanities, social sciences, education, and business; distinguished master’s thesis in STEM disciplines; and innovation in technology.

A Fresno native, Cody graduated with distinction in May and was selected as the Graduate Dean’s Medalist for the College of Arts and Humanities. He is the most highly honored writer in the 25-year history of the University’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing.

Cody’s debut book, “Borderland Apocrypha,” won the 2018 Omnidawn Open Book Contest and was published in April 2020, a month before he completed his Master of Fine Arts degree. The collection finished Nov. 18 as a finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry, which is among the highest literary prizes in the United States.

Read more at FresnoStateNews.com

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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