By Julia Snyder, senior English and communication major from Murrysville, Pa.
LATROBE, PA – Abigail Chabitnoy, a 2009 Saint Vincent College graduate, was recently honored with the Colorado Book Award in the poetry category for her collection “How to Dress a Fish (Wesleyan University Press, 2019).” Colorado Humanities announced Chabitnoy’s selection on May 30 via Facebook Live.
Following the event, Chabitnoy wrote, “It has been such an incredible experience moving to Colorado and studying and reading such incredible poets – without whom I would not be the poet I am today.”
Chabitnoy is a poet of Unangan and Sugpiaq descent and a member of the Tangirnaq Native Village in Kodiak, Alaska. Following her graduation from Saint Vincent College in 2009 with bachelor’s degrees in English and anthropology, she received her MFA at Colorado State University, where she was an associate editor for Colorado Review. Chabitnoy’s poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Tin House, Gulf Coast, Pleiades, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Nat Brut, Red Ink and Mud City.
As a student at Saint Vincent, Chabitnoy worked as the managing editor of Generation, the college’s student-run literary magazine. In March 2019, Chabitnoy was a featured guest of the Saint Vincent College Visiting Writers Series, while she also served as judge for the 2019 Ragan Poetry Contest.
In her award-winning book “How to Dress a Fish,” Chabitnoy acknowledged the role of Michelle Gil-Montero, Saint Vincent College associate professor of English, in setting her on the path toward writing and publishing poetry.
“Thank you to Michelle Gil-Montero,” wrote Chabitnoy, “for convincing me I was writing poetry after all and for first introducing me to the infinite possibilities of the genre.”
Colorado Humanities is an organization dedicated to education in various humanities disciplines through community-based programs. Its book awards program, established in 1991, honors authors, editors, illustrators and photographers of Colorado, granting prizes annually in 16 categories.
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