I'm applying for an NEA Fellowship in Poetry. I figure I've put in enough hours now trying to make this culture more vibrant and sensitive that I think the government should begin paying me. I'm not asking for an hourly rate -- more like a large honorarium, as the grant wouldn't begin to compensate me for all the business I've probably missed by spending my mornings on poetry.
In case you are thinking of applying, they're now making it all but impossible not to apply online. Here's the page to get started. Good luck!
Among the recent winners in poetry, the only big names I recognized are Jane Hirshfield, B.H. Fairchild and Alice Fulton. Out of 45 grants, that leaves lots of opportunities. NEA offers Literature Fellowships in Poetry once every three years.
This article about an emerging poet winning an NEA Lit-Fellowship is heartening. Scroll down past the article on dots, though that's interesting too.
Are you emerging? I'm emerging too! Let's have tea and compare our NEA apps.