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2015 Writer in South Asia

In late July, 2015, Indiana University MFA students Cherae Clark and Dan Minty joined Samrat Upadhyay on a two-week trip to South Asia, where they engaged in a variety of literary and cultural activities. Titled The Writer in South Asia, the project aims to transform the travelers’ writing by forcing it to engage with a broader social and political sphere and deepen their sense of being ‘writers of the world.’ At the IU India Office in Gurgaon, they participated in literary panels and held workshops with young writers from the Delhi area. After a trip to Taj Mahal in Agra and the Pink City of Jaipur, they traveled to Nepal, where they continued their literary and cultural
explorations: participating in the award ceremony of the Writing Nepal story contest, which was sponsored and judged by Samrat Upadhyay; leading workshops with students at the Buddhanilkantha School and with young professionals at Edushala; and roaming around the architecturally rich cities of Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur.

See more pictures here on the IUB English Facebook page.
Coleman Winner of 2015 Berkshire Prize

Patrick Coleman (2011 MFA Graduate, Fiction) is the winner of the 2015 Berkshire Prize for his manuscript, Fire Season.

Judge Carol Frost writes: The poems in Fire Season are full of friction--common word touching common word making that friction. They are also philosophical and personal. Patrick Coleman is tuned in to landscape, language, and humanity, each poem casual as office talk and heightened by their proximity to art and by the force of the sentence--such arresting sentences.

The winner of the Berkshire Prize receives a $3,000 cash prize, publication by Tupelo Press, and national distribution.

Congratulations, Patrick!
Simeon Berry's Ampersand Revisited and Monograph

Congratulations to Simeon Berry (2002 MFA Graduate, Poetry) for publishing his first collection of poetry, Ampersand Revisited (Fence Books, 2015, winner of the National 2013 Poetry Series, selected by Ariana Reines) and his second book of poetry, Monograph (University of Georgia Press, 2015, winner of the 2014 National Poetry Series, selected by Denise Duhamel).

By winning both the 2013 and the 2014 National Poetry Series, Simeon becomes the second poet in the 36-year-history of the Series to win twice, and the only one to win in consecutive years. In 2014, the prize money for each of the five winners of the Series was increased to $10,000 thanks to a grant from the Lannan Foundation.

Consisting of three long poems, Ampersand Revisited traces the legacy of a father drawn toward the occult and a mother immured in a personality disorder through the experiential wisdom of a neurotic Connecticut teenager.

Written in narrow sections that blur the distinction between flash fiction and prose poetry, between memoir and meditation, Monograph veers from the elliptical to the explosive as it dissects the Gordian knot of a marriage’s intellectual, sexual, and domestic lives.

Simeon Berry lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. He has been an Associate Editor for Ploughshares, and won a Massachusetts Cultural Council Individual Artist Grant and a Career Chapter Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters. His work has appeared in Crazyhorse, AGNI, Colorado Review, Blackbird, DIAGRAM, The Iowa Review, American Letters & Commentary, and many other journals.
Ming Holden Wins 49th Parallel Award

Ming Holden (MFA, 2013) is the winner of the 2015 49th Parallel Award for Poetry, awarded by the Bellingham Review for her poem, "For My Aspirated." For the complete press release from the Bellingham Review, including (effusive!) judge's comments, click here: http://bhreview.org/2015/06/11/announcing-the-winners-of-the-bellingham-reviews-2015-literary-contests/.

Well done, Ming!
Metres to be Honored at Yale

Philip J. Metres III (MFA; PhD, 2001) has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the George W. Hunt, S.J. Prize for Excellence in Journalism, Arts & Letters awarded by America Media and the St. Thomas More Chapel of Yale University. Metres's writing "has been called “beautiful, powerful, magnetically original.” Lawrence Joseph, professor at Saint John’s University, has written that “Philip Metres’s poetry speaks to us all, in ways critical, vital, profound, and brilliant.” His poems have been translated into Arabic, Polish, Russian and Tamil.

Dr. Metres will be awarded a $25,000 prize at a reception to be held at the Saint Thomas More Chapel and Center in September, where Professor Metres will also deliver an original lecture that will be published as the cover story in a subsequent issue of America. “We are very pleased with the decision of the selection committee,” said Father Robert Beloin, chaplain of the Thomas More Chapel and Center. “Professor Metres is a shining example of the power of good writing to change minds and hearts.”

The George W. Hunt, S.J. Prize for Excellence in Journalism, Arts & Letters, was established in 2014. The Hunt Prize was made possible through the generous gift of Mr. Fay Vincent, Jr., a long-time and cherished friend of the late Fr. George Hunt, S.J., the longest-tenured Editor-in-Chief of America magazine. Mr. Vincent currently serves as a trustee on the Board of Trustees of the St. Thomas More Chapel and Center and Yale University. The Hunt Prize seeks to encourage writers under the age of 45 who employ a Catholic imagination in their writing.

http://americamagazine.org/content/all-things/philip-j-metres-iii-selected-inaugural-recipient-25000-george-w-hunt-sj-prize

Congratulations, Phil!
Aguilar, Clark Provincetown Fellows

Leslie Aguilar (Poetry) and Tia Clark (Fiction) have each been selected to receive prestigious residency fellowships to the Fine Arts Works Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts next year. This is a highly selective invitation to one of the most distinguished Arts Colonies in the country with a remarkable roster of previous recipients.

The Work Center founders envisioned a place in Provincetown, the country’s most enduring artists’ colony, where artists and writers could live and work together in the early phase of their careers. The founders believed that the freedom to pursue creative work within a community of peers is the best catalyst for artistic growth. The Work Center has dedicated itself to this mission for over 40 years.

Today the Work Center is a leading long-term
residency program for emerging artists and writers and one of the most renowned. Each year the Work Center offers residencies – the gift of time, space and community – to twenty Fellows selected from some 1,100 applications worldwide. From October to May, the Work Center gives the Fellows living and workspace, a modest stipend and each other. The only thing asked in return is that they focus on new work while they are in residence.

Leslie and Tia: We believe in you; we are proud of you; and we are happy for you. Congratulations on this extraordinary honor.

http://web.fawc.org/program
Whale Chaser Paperback Release

Chicago Review Press has just released Tony Ardizzone's novel, The Whale Chaser, in paperback, just in time for summer reading lists. It is a novel about leaving the midwest behind for a new start in the Pacific Northwest, and learning how to put the scattered pieces of one's life back together in a way that makes sense. As one reviewer writes: "Heartbreaking yet compassionate, his novel takes the reader on a journey toward acceptance and the rightness of the natural universe. The Whale Chaser encompasses but ultimately transcends a coming-of-age novel, a love story, and 1960s period fiction in its exploration of the human experience, of fate and free will, of learning when to let go."

Now available in paperback: http://www.ipgbook.com/the-whale-chaser-products-9780897339230.php
Upadhyay Short-Listed for Open Award

Samrat Upadhyay, Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities, is one of the many PEN Literary Award finalists announced April 16 for his novel The City Son.

Among the other finalists for prizes in nine different categories were Cynthia Bond, whose debut novel, “Ruby” was an Oprah Book Club pick; poet Claudia Rankine, whose “Citizen: An American Lyric” nabbed a National Book Critics Circle Award last month; Leslie Jamison for her essay collection, “The Empathy Exams”; and S.C. Gwynne for “Rebel Yell,” his biography of Civil War general Stonewall Jackson.

Most of the winners will be announced on May 13, and the awards will be presented at a ceremony in New York on June 8. This year PEN is giving 19 awards, fellowships, grants and prizes equaling almost $150,000. PEN's Open Book Award, for which Uphadyay is under consideration, recognizes "an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2014." This year's finalists, in addition to Upadhyay and Rankine are: Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman; Teju Cole, Every Day is for the Thief; and Roxanne Gay, An Untamed State.

http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/books/pen-literary-award-finalists-for-2015-are-announced-1.10277996
Ross Gay Awarded Radcliffe Fellowship

Ross Gay has been selected for a Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University for the 2015-16 academic year. Previous winners have included: Junot Diaz, Geraldine Brooks, and Natasha Trethewey. This is a significant and well-deserved honor, as well as an extraordinary opportunity for Ross. Congratulations!
Coming this fall...

Reaktion Press has begun advertising Alyce Miller’s contribution to their Animal series, Skunk, available for pre-order in advance of a November release date. Animal is a pioneering series from Reaktion Books. The first of its kind to explore the historical significance and impact on humans of a wide range of animals, each book in the series takes a different animal and examines its role in history around the world. The importance of mythology, religion and science are described as is the history of food, the trade in animals and their products, pets, exhibition, film and photography, and their roles in the artistic and literary imagination. This series has rapidly become a touchstone resource for scholars and the general public interested in animal studies. Skunk joins a crowded menagerie of fascinating beasts and fascinated scholars.

Read more about Skunk (including ordering information) here: http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/S/bo22257253.html