Since he was a teenager, Dr. Michael Waters has been writing poetry. Now an English professor at Monmouth University, his beloved craft is back in the spotlight. Waters is one of 173 artists, scientists, and scholars out of 3,000 applicants to be selected for a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship. The distinction has been awarded for more than 90 years and recognizes individuals from the U.S. and Canada.

As part of the fellowship, which is set to begin in January 2018, Waters vows to use the $50,000 award to travel and craft poems that will “connect the old world in Eastern Europe to the new world.”

Waters is no stranger to recognition for his work. As a senior in college studying abroad in England, he won a national poetry competition and was invited to London to share his work with the Poetry Society. Waters became a published author at the age of 22, and has most recently released his poetry book, “Celestial Joyride,” in 2016.

Waters is expected to publish his next book, “Dean of Discipline,” in 2018.