By Chester Dunbar
On May 11, 2016, Dr. Greg Byrd, a Composition professor from Clearwater campus, won a Rapid Returns grant for literature from Creative Pinellas Individuals Artist Fellowship Program. Dr. Byrd won a $5000 Individual Artist Fellowship Grant.
Dr. Byrd was 1 of the 126 individual artists that applied for the grant and won. There were a total of 10 individuals who won out of the 126 individual artists that submitted their work. This was Dr. Byrd’s 4th time submitting his literature to the board of Creative Pinellas, but this is the first time Dr. Byrd won a grant from Creative Pinellas. Dr. Byrd said, “When sending articles out, you may not get published the first time, and there are many variables that go on why someone would publish your book or work.”
Grant recipients have to blog once a week as part of the contract for Creative Pinellas. Dr. Byrd’s Blog has already been submitted to RapidReturns.org. Dr. Byrd was the only one to win in North Pinellas as an individual recipient. The board invited the recipients in May to come to the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners. The board mostly talked about the final stuff and then called the winners up to receive their recognitions. Dr. Byrd said, “In the future, the recipients will meet up again, but trying to get schedules together for artist is very difficult because artist have very different schedules.”
Dr. Byrd had to follow some very strict guidelines to win the award from Creative Pinellas. First he had to complete an online application of questions for Creative Pinellas. Also, he had to submit an artist biography/cv. Next, Dr. Byrd had to submit some of his literature samples that had been completed within the last 3 years. The literature manuscripts had to have a maximum of 10 pages of a complete work. Finally, Dr. Byrd had to submit up to 5 supporting materials such as brochures, programs, news articles, letters of recommendations, and testimonials. With this award, Dr. Byrd said, “I am taking off some time so, I can do some more writing starting the second half of the summer semester.”
Dr. Byrd’s last book of poetry is called “Salt and Iron”, and the poetry came out in June, 2014 published by Snakes Nation Press in hard back. The book’s cover photo was designed by Professor Kevin Grass at the Clearwater campus in the arts department. Dr. Byrd said “Professor Kevin Grass is an awesome artist and his work is very unique.”
The Fellowship Award Dr. Byrd won started June 1, 2016 and ends September 15, 2016. Dr. Byrd has a one-year sabbatical from St. Petersburg College from 2016-2017 to work on his poetry. His poetry includes a piece called “This is the Name for the God Who Speaks” that will be published in the Apalachee Review in Fall 2016 and another piece of poetry called the “Late Trail” that will be published in Pinyon which will come out in 2016/2017. Dr. Byrd credits awards for helping promoting his poetry, mentioning “In middle school in the 7th grade, I had a teacher that got me into writing, and I won a writing award.”