Khaled Mattawa Receives Major Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets
New York, September 14—Galway Kinnell has been selected as the recipient of the 2010 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets. The $100,000 prize recognizes outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry. Khaled Mattawa has been selected as the recipient of the 2010 Academy Fellowship. The Fellowship is awarded once a year to a poet for distinguished poetic achievement and provides a stipend of $25,000. The Academy's Board of Chancellors, a body of fifteen eminent poets, selects the Wallace Stevens Award and Academy Fellowship recipients.
Galway Kinnell and Khaled Mattawa will be honored at the fourth annual Poets Forum, October 28-30, in New York City. They will read from their work at the Poets Awards Ceremony and be part of intimate panel discussions on contemporary poetry presented by the Academy of American Poets.
Khaled Mattawa was born in Benghazi, Libya in 1964 and immigrated to the U.S. in his teens. His collections of poetry include Ismailia Eclipse (Sheep Meadow, 1995), Zodiac of Echoes (Ausable, 2003), Amorisco (2008) and Tocqueville (New Issues, 2010). Mattawa has also translated many volumes of contemporary Arabic poetry and co-edited two anthologies of Arab American literature.
About Mattawa's work, Academy Chancellor Marilyn Hacker says:
"Khaled Mattawa is one of the most original, lyrical and intellectually challenging American poets of his generation. Toqueville is a book that is as daring in its amalgam of poetic techniques as it is dazzling and pertinent in the breadth of its subject-matter, while Amorisco expands possibilities of the lyric in English with its historical and cultural reach. He is also one of the best translators of contemporary poetry working today, from Arabic or indeed any language—creating viable, memorable poems in the receptor language."
Mattawa's honors include a Guggenheim fellowship, a translation grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Alfred Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, the PEN American Center Poetry Translation Prize, and three Pushcart Prizes. He teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
About his poetic process, Mattawa has said:
"I'm still surprised by the urgent presence of the poem in me, sometimes well-shaped but often a foggy insistence that I must adhere to. I write what appears to be dictated to me, one phrase beckoning another. The beginning of a poem is often a series of directions to a place or a moment. I rework it slowly, adding, reducing, stopping and waiting for months, and changing tracks until the parameters of a landscape begin to show, which means that the poem has grown larger than my intentions."
The Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets
The Wallace Stevens Award and Academy Fellowship recipients are nominated and elected by the Academy's Board of Chancellors. The current Chancellors are Victor Hernandez Cruz, Rita Dove, Marilyn Hacker, Lyn Hejinian, Edward Hirsch, Naomi Shihab Nye, Sharon Olds, Ron Padgett, Carl Phillips, Robert Pinsky, Marie Ponsot, Kay Ryan, Gerald Stern, Susan Stewart, and C.K. Williams.
About the Academy Fellowship
The Academy of American Poets established its Fellowship in 1937. It was the very first cash award given annually to an American poet and is given in memory of James Ingram Merrill. Former fellows include Gwendolyn Brooks, E. E. Cummings, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Elizabeth Bishop, Marianne Moore, Robert Hayden, and more recently Lyn Hejinian, Adrienne Rich, Denise Levertov, Jay Wright, Claudia Rankine, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, and Harryette Mullen.
About the Academy of American Poets
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The Academy of American Poets is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1934 to foster appreciation for contemporary poetry and to support American poets at all stages of their careers. For over three generations, the Academy has connected millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world; Poets.org, the most popular site about poetry on the web; the Poetry Audio Archive, capturing the voices of contemporary American poets for generations to come; American Poet, a biannual literary journal; and our annual series of poetry readings and special events. The Academy also awards prizes to accomplished poets at all stages of their careers—from hundreds of student prizes at colleges nationwide to the Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement in the art of poetry. For more information, visit www.poets.org
2010-2011 Zell Post-MFA Fellows
Established through the generosity of the Zell Family Foundation, the Zell Fellowships are intended to support the work of promising writers completing graduate study in the University of Michigan MFA Program in Creative Writing.
The judge of this year’s fiction competition was Joshua Henkin; Pimone Triplett judged the poetry submissions. Graduating MFA students submitted a pseudonymous manuscript of up to 20 pages of poetry or up to 30 pages of prose, depending on the genre in which they were earning the MFA.
Zell Fellows may not hold a teaching lectureship at the University of Michigan for the academic year during which they are Fellows, and are expected to reside in Ann Arbor during the academic year following graduation, and to continue to contribute to the MFA community through a directed project or projects. This year Zell Fellows are planning events to include a reading by Cave Canem fellows, a workshop on The Stagecraft of Reading, and a panel discussion on Filipino literature.
Kyle Booten is, with Adam Hayden, co-editor of the constraint-based online magazine Just (www.justzine.com
). His poems have appeared in Tin House
, Hotel Amerika
, and elsewhere. He is a graduate of Princeton University and is originally from Tennessee.
Darrel Alejandro Holnes is a poet and playwright from Panama City, Panama and Houston, Texas. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Michigan where he was a Cornwell Fellow. His play, The Burning Room, winner of the National Playwriting Award from WSU, was a participating entry in the Kennedy Center for the Arts Annual College Theater Festival. His poetry has appeared in The Puritan, The Caribbean Writer, the minnesota review, and NANO Fiction among other journals. He and his work have been featured nationally and internationally in Le Figaro Newspaper of Paris, Harvard Magazine, Time Magazine, and on NPR. He is a Cave Canem Fellow, was a Bread Loaf Waiter, and continues to work as a writer and emerging performance artist in Ann Arbor, Michigan as a Zell Post-Graduate Fellow.
Katherine Jaeger is from Seattle, where she attended the University of Washington. Her interests - literary and general - include Russian folklore, beekeeping, natural history museums, Chinese secret societies, and cephalopods. Were she suddenly given a great deal of power, she would ensure that everybody read the works of Jincy Willett, Dubravka Ugresic, and Philip Pullman. She is currently at work on a young adult adventure novel set in 1920s Shanghai.
Miriam Lawrence grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts and received her BA from Williams College in 2006. Before coming to Michigan, she lived in Boston, where she wrote profiles and wedding stories for a magazine about Harvard alums and taught creative writing at an independent school. She is currently a Zell Fellow at the University of Michigan. She is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this vibrant group of writers.
Hanna Pylväinen grew up in the metro Detroit area. At Mount Holyoke College, she abandoned pre-med to begin a memoir; at Michigan, she continued (and continues) to write –– via fiction –– about the conservative church of her youth. She hopes to someday write a science fiction novel that features a complex female protagonist.
George T. Ramos, from Manila, Philippines, writes poems and plays. To pay the bills, he worked as an advertising writer for brands like Coca-Cola and Citibank for many years, and as a bank executive. He has also acted on the Manila stage. His poetry has appeared in major Philippine magazines and most recently came out in the critical monograph Six Poetry Formats and the Transforming Image by National Artist Edith Tiempo. His play, The Jagged Edge of Being, was produced in 1992. It won rave reviews and an Honorable Mention in the Palanca Awards, the Philippine Pulitzers.
Jessica Young boasts an undergraduate degree of a BS in Creative Writing. She received that at MIT, and after graduating stayed in the area for two years to Adjunct. While in the MFA program here (at UofM), she received a Hopwood Award and a residency in Ireland. She was also nominated for a Pushcart, and is in the process of publishing her first chapbook.
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Delbanco on J.D. Salinger, PBS Newshour
From the PBS Newshour website:
J.D. Salinger, the author of the classic
modern novel about teenage rebellion, "The Catcher in the Rye," has
died. He was 91 and had lived for decades in isolation in a small,
remote house in Cornish, N.H.
In a statement from Salinger's literary agent, the author's son said Salinger died of natural causes at his home on Wednesday.
Published in 1951, "The Catcher in the Rye" became one of the most
influential American novels of the modern era and perhaps left its
biggest mark in high school and freshman college English courses.
Holden Caulfield, the protagonist in "The Catcher in the Rye,"
became a symbol for the angry and rebellious modern teenager and of
adolescent angst. Sales of the book, according to the Associated Press,
have reached more than 60 million copies worldwide.
But almost immediately after it was published, Salinger became
disillusioned with the publishing industry and retreated into
seclusion. He published only three more books: "Nine Stories," "Franny
and Zooey" and "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An
Introduction." His last published work was in 1965 in the New Yorker.
On Thursday, Jim Lehrer talked to the University of Michigan's
Nicholas Delbanco and Syracuse University's Robert Thompson about
Salinger's life and work.
Visit the PBS Newshour website to view the video.
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English on Facebook, Twitter
English has set up Facebook and Twitter accounts as another way all our faculty, students, alumni, and friends can stay connected and up-to-date with the latest news and events within the Department. See our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/UMichEnglish
to become a fan, or track us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UM_English.
The MFA in Creative Writing Program also has a Facebook page...check it out
Nami Mun wins 2009 Whiting Writers' Award
From Columbia College Chicago:
Nami Mun, alumna of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan and assistant professor of Fiction Writing at Columbia College Chicago, has been awarded the prestigious Whiting Writers' Award for her 2009 novel Miles from Nowhere
. The award, which includes a $50,000 stipend, has been given annually since 1985 to 10 writers of exceptional talent and promise early in their careers. The program marks its twenty-fifth anniversary this year.The 2009 recipients were announced at a ceremony at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York on Wednesday, October 28, featuring a keynote address by Margaret Atwood. Dr. Robert L. Belknap, president of the foundation, and trustee Kate Douglas Torrey presented the awards.
In addition to the Whiting Award, the widely acclaimed Miles from Nowhere
was shortlisted for the U.K.'s Orange Award for New Writers. The novel follows Joon, a 13-year-old runaway, through the streets of New York as she struggles with addiction, exploitation, and her own past. Mun spent several years creating the manuscript.
"I'm no good at letting things go, which is probably why I worked on the book for eight years and revised each chapter roughly 30 times—the book as a whole maybe five times," she explains. "I knew the manuscript was ready, at least ready to leave my house, because one day I woke up and had nothing to do."
Mun is in her second year on faculty at Columbia. When asked what has struck her most about the college, she answers, "The students, hands down. They seem to live and work and study and dress and talk and walk creatively." She adds, "I was never that cool in college."
As for what's next for Mun, she says, "I'm always, always looking forward to my next day of writing. Which at the moment involves a book about crime."
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