Carmen Giménez Smith is on a roll. The recent winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Giménez Smith has also seen her most recent volume of poetry, Be Recorder, named a finalist for a slew of honors, including the shortlist for the 2019 National Book Award for poetry.

Giménez Smith is one of the more recent additions to the concentration of celebrated poets at Virginia Tech. Among those are Bob Hicok and Erika Meitner, recently named finalists in the poetry category of the 22nd Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards. Other Hokie bards in the Department of English include the award-winning Ed Falco, Evan Lavender-Smith, Jeff Mann, Aileen Murphy, Lucinda Roy, Matthew Vollmer, and Gyorgyi Voros.

And, of course, internationally acclaimed poet Nikki Giovanni has long been a literary light at Virginia Tech. Giovanni joined the faculty three decades ago, yet poetry has been an enduring strength of the university even longer.

“When we think of poetry, we think of the soul of humankind,” Giovanni said during her toast at an annual poetry celebration. “Today, we have lifted that to the heavens.”