The Kenneth W. Brewer Creative Writing Award
Kenneth W. Brewer was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, and attended Western New Mexico University on a football scholarship where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English and mathematics in 1965. Ken went on to earn his master's degree in British literature at New Mexico State University two years later. After teaching at Las Cruces High School for one year, he accepted a position at Utah State University as an instructor in English. During this time at USU, he worked on his Ph.D. in creative writing at the University of Utah which he completed in 1973.
Dr. Brewer became a prominent and revered faculty member during his academic career in USU's English Department. He retired in 2000, having taught courses in poetry and essay writing, methods of teaching creative writing and creative nonfiction. He pioneered the teaching of creative writing online. He was honored for his teaching by being invited to give the “Last Lecture” in 1997. His list of awards is lengthy and he served on several boards and in organizations that promoted the humanities and creative writing both at USU and for the state of Utah.
Ken was married to another prominent faculty member, Roberta (Bobbie) Stearman, and they enjoyed many years of teaching together as colleagues in the department until his retirement.
Known and respected most importantly for his poetry, Dr. Brewer published over 300 poems, essays and reviews, including twelve books of poetry during his career. In 2003 he was named Utah's Poet Laureate, a post in which he was serving at the time of his death, March 15, 2006. Some of his finest poetry was written during his courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
The Kenneth W. Brewer Creative Writing Award is given to a promising young student in the creative writing emphasis who demonstrates the need for financial assistance.