Jenny Boully Awarded 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship

jenny boullyCredit: Jenny Boully
Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing Jenny Boully has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.


Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing Jenny Boully has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise. The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awards Fellows each year for writers, scholars, artists, and scientists. Boully is part of a diverse group of 175 2020 Guggenheim Fellows, chosen from nearly 3,000 applicants. Since 1925, the Guggenheim Fellowships have granted more than $375 million to over 18,000 individuals.

“I feel so embraced by this award,” said Boully. “It has validated the long, slow, and solitary life of the writer. I've never won such an award, so this means everything to me. To be given time to write and know that others are championing your writing and efforts is such a gift. I'm extremely grateful to all my teachers, students, readers, editors, and invisible hands who led me here.” 

As a Fellow, Boully joins a community of artists and scholars that have long been financially supported by the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Since 1925, the Foundation has granted more the $375 million in Fellowships to over 18,000 individuals, among whom are scores of Nobel laureates, Fields Medalists, poets laureate, members of the various national academies, winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Bancroft Prize, Turing Award, National Book Awards, Bancroft Prizes, and other important, internationally recognized honors.

Boully says she’s fortunate to have had so many serious and creative and talented thinkers and writers and artists in her classrooms at Columbia. Her students challenge her, always, to think harder. She also believes Columbia her students gain because she’s received the Fellowship too. “I think that when a teacher of creative writing and literature is able to take time to look more closely at their own writing pursuits and literary interests, when they are able to devote a studious and serious period of time in this deep level of engagement and thought, it is beneficial to student learning too,” Boully said.

"The 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship cohort represents exceptional scholarly and creative achievement, and we congratulate Jenny Boully for this well-deserved award. Further, her selection once again demonstrates the extraordinary vitality and strength of the scholars, artists, and practitioners that comprise the faculty of Columbia College Chicago," said Senior Associate Provost Nathan Bakkum.

In each piece Boully writes, she finds that she discovers more about the process of bringing her thoughts, research and life together in ways that become more refined and impactful. When Boully sees these elements in her work, having lived them, it’s easier to see them in her students' work and thus easier to guide and push them to where they need to go. 

“As we grapple with the difficulties of the moment, it is also important to look to the future. The artists, writers, scholars, and scientific researchers supported by the Fellowship will help us understand and learn from what we are enduring individually and collectively, and it is an honor for the Foundation to help them do their essential work,” said President of the Foundation Edward Hirsch of this year’s Guggenheim Fellows.

 For more information on the 2020 Fellows, please visit the Foundation’s website at


Sarah Borchardt
Communications Manager