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UC Doctoral Student Wins Coveted International Award

UC's Caitlin Doyle is one of just 100 doctoral students in the U.S. and Canada to receive the highly competitive P.E.O. Scholar Award.

Date: 4/16/2018 8:00:00 AM
By: staff
Caitlin Doyle, a Ph.D. student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Cincinnati, is one of 100 doctoral students in the United States and Canada selected to receive a highly competitive $15,000 P.E.O Scholar Award.

The P.E.O. Scholar Awards were established in 1991 to provide substantial merit-based awards for women of the United States and Canada who are pursuing a doctoral-level degree at an accredited college or university. Scholar Award recipients are a select group of women chosen for their exceptional level of academic achievement and their potential for having a significant impact on society.

About winning the P.E.O Scholar Award, Doyle says "I am honored beyond words to receive this recognition. The support provided by the award will have an immeasurable impact on my artistic, academic, and professional trajectory."

UC Professor John Drury, Doyle’s doctoral exam moderator and thesis adviser, has the following to say about her work as a poet and a scholar:

"She's an innovative master with elements of poetic form, such as rhyme and meter, and she writes free verse with equal élan. She is gradually and patiently assembling a debut manuscript with a wide-reaching scope, and I believe her completed collection will have great success at the very best poetry book competitions. That laudable ambition and the imaginative energy supporting it are typical of Caitlin's incredible drive as a literary artist and scholar."

Currently an Elliston Fellow in Poetry at UC, Doyle is pursuing doctoral work with a focus on poetry, while also teaching in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. She serves as assistant editor of The Cincinnati Review, a nationally renowned literary magazine located on UC’s campus.

A Distinguished Record

Photograph of Caitlin Doyle
Caitlin Doyle

Born and raised in Long Island, Doyle received a bachelor's in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As an undergraduate, she held the Thomas Wolfe Scholarship in Creative Writing, a four-year full tuition scholarship given each year to one incoming freshman and based, according to the UNC Creative Writing Department, on "exceptionally focused literary ability and promise." Following graduation, she earned her MFA as the George Starbuck Fellow in Poetry at Boston University. Her professor and thesis adviser at Boston University, former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, describes Doyle as a poet with a "gorgeous, original imagination."

Doyle arrived at UC with a long list of literary accomplishments, including awards and fellowships through the James Merrill House, the MacDowell Colony, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, among many others. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Doyle held Writer-in-Residence teaching positions at Penn State, St. Albans School, and Interlochen Arts Academy, and her poems, essays, and reviews appeared in numerous publications and anthologies, including The Atlantic, The Threepenny Review, Boston Review, The Black Warrior Review, and Best New Poets (University of Virginia Press).

Most recently, she held a residency fellowship at the Yaddo Colony and she received the Frost Farm Poetry Prize, one of the most prestigious international awards given for metrical poetry. Since the start of Doyle’s doctoral studies, her work has been featured in the "PBS NewsHour Poetry Series," the Poetry Foundation’s "Poem of the Day" Series, The Guardian, The Yale Review, Poetry Daily, and others. During her first year at UC, Doyle, who is a first generation Irish-American, was profiled in The Irish Echo as a "rising star in American poetry."

Her book reviews have appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Literary Matters, Blackbird, The Common, Cork Literary Review, and elsewhere. She has been awarded a Wydeven Scholarship to present a paper at the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature Conference in May.

This past fall, Doyle added another impressive moniker to her list of distinctions: librettist. She was commissioned by Grammy-nominated composer Anna Clyne to write lyrics for "Silent Voices," a program featuring the acclaimed Brooklyn Youth Chorus. The concert will take place at the National Sawdust Theatre in New York in late April.

Along with her literary pursuits outside of the classroom, Doyle has been an active member of the academic community at UC. Currently the vice president of the English Graduate Organization, she has also served as an English Department Composition Program mentor, played a central role in planning the department's 2018 Graduate English Conference, and volunteered to work with underserved students as a workshop leader at UC’s African American Resources Center.

Her involvement in the literary arts in Cincinnati has extended beyond UC’s campus. Doyle has served as a judge for the Overture Awards through the Cincinnati Arts Association, an annual statewide contest for high school writers, and she has been a founding member of the Irish American Writers and Artists Organization at the Irish Cultural Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati. Her poem "Self-Portrait With Monkeys" was included as part of the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Cincinnati Art Museum last year. Over the next few weeks, in honor of National Poetry Month, she will lead poetry programs for young writers at multiple branches of the Cincinnati Public Library.

The P.E.O Scholar Award recognizes Doyle for her creative work, her outstanding academic record on the doctoral level, her contributions to the UC Department of English and Comparative Literature, and her involvement in the larger community. What are Doyle’s goals for the future, as she approaches the final year of her Ph.D. program this upcoming fall?

"I have worked hard to build a life centered on poetry – the writing of it, the reading of it, and the teaching of it – and my main goal for the future is to continue honoring the art form as fully as I can."

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