(Non) resident writer
Grant supports long-time professor and poet
Jeff Gundy, emeritus professor of English at Bluffton University, has held many roles during his writing career: published author, professor, Ohio Poet of the Year and distinguished poet in residence, to name a few. Now, thanks to a grant from an anonymous donor awarded through the Seattle Foundation, Gundy is adding the title “writer in (non) residence” to his vita.
The $93,500 grant funds the position as well as administrative costs for two years. Since the title specifically states (non) residence, research and creative work will also include exploration off campus.
“This grant means I can think about travel and doing some things I would not have been able to do otherwise,” said Gundy. “It’s been really energizing to have this kind of support.”
While the end product has yet to be been determined, Gundy’s goal is to share new discoveries with the Bluffton community and the wider world through a series of written texts, presentations, publications and other activities. The grant has already funded travel to South Africa and Morocco, new locales for Gundy.
“It’s different to read about places or see them in the movies than actually be there and get your feet on the ground,” said Gundy. “You need to smell things, to eat the food and to be open to new experiences. In my travels, I hope to take away a little different angle than your average tourist.”
Gundy served as a full-time faculty member at Bluffton for more than 30 years. During sabbaticals he taught at LCC International University in Klaipeda, Lithuania, and was a Fulbright lecturer and poet in residence at the University of Salzburg in Austria.
Gundy most recently served as a poet in residence at Bluffton. Though he taught fewer classes, Gundy maintained an office on campus, mentored students and continued to write. Even with the (non) residence title, Gundy will still be a familiar sight on campus.
“I enjoy being here and having conversations with colleagues and friends and interacting with students and going to Forum and Colloquium,” said Gundy. “I’ve not found myself ready to cut the tie and go away.”
The grant was awarded in January of 2023 and will continue through the 2024 calendar year.
In addition to his 12 earlier books, Gundy’s most recent collection of essays “Wind Farm: Landscape with Stories and Towers” explores the human and natural geography of the Illinois prairie landscape of his youth, altered by the introduction of new roads, intensive agriculture and, most recently, vast wind farms.