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Matejka wins GuggenheimFellowship

Poet Adrian Matejka’s Annus Mirabilis keeps rolling along, as he has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2014-15. The Guggenheim is a prestigious fellowship awarded to “men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.” Congratulations to Adrian; this accolade is first and foremost an individual honor, but it also reflects well on the Creative Writing Program and on the English Department as a whole. Adrian’s most recent honor continues an especially strong recent run of success by the English Department, and by our poets in particular: three years ago, poet Maurice Manning and scholar George Hutchinson were each awarded fellowships; and just last year poet Ross Gay and scholar Rob Fulk were each awarded fellowships. Congratulations, Adrian, on another well-deserved honor.
Matejka wins 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Award

Congratulations once again to Adrian Matejka for more honors garnered by The Big Smoke.
Last fall, the book was short-listed for a National Book Award; today it was announced as one of the winners of this year’s Anisfield-Wolf Award, presented each year since 1935 by the Cleveland Public Library to celebrate "books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and human diversity." This is arguably the country’s foremost literary award specifically keyed to works that highlight issues of social justice. Among the many distinguished winners recognized for individual titles, Adrian joins such figures as Zora Neale Hurston, John Hersey, Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Gwendolyn Brooks, Maxine Hong Kingston, Wole Soyinka, Toni Morrison, Nadine Gordimer, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Sandra Cisneros, Jamaica Kincaid, and more recently, Junot Diaz, who will visit here next week. Since 1996, the awards jury has been chaired by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who described Adrian’s book as “a collection of poems on the myth and unapologetic masculinity of the first African-American heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson."
Alison Powell’s On the Desire to Levitate (Ohio U.P., 2014)

Congratulations to Alison Powell (Poetry, 2006) whose On the Desire to Levitate won last year’s Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, and has just been released by Ohio University Press.

This striking collection includes vivid, unflinching meditations on aging, mythology, poetry, and family. In tight, elegant lines that alternate between homage and elegy, these poems explore known subjects with a rebellious eye: a defeated Hercules and a bitter Eurydice, a sympathetic Lucifer, and generations of adolescent girls as mythical adventurers moving within a beloved but confining Midwest. Yet in Powell's skillful hands, hardship never overtakes: as judge Charles Hood writes, “There's often a delicious humor in this work, and always a deep and lasting integrity.”

http://www.ohioswallow.com/book/On+the+Desire+to+Levitate
Townsend's Saint Monkey published by Norton

Congratulations to Jacinda Townsend on the early positive press for her debut novel, St. Monkey,
released last month by W. W. Norton!
Carmela Cuiraru calls the novel “impressive” in the New York Times And Jason Diamond hears echoes of James Baldwin in “one of the best debuts of the year so far”.

IU Slam Poetry Event 3/5

IU Slam Poetry Event 03/05

The IU Slam Poetry Team is holding an Open Mic & Slam Competition this week as a fundraiser at Rachel's Cafe. MFA students Ciara Miller and Michael Mlekoday will be hosting. Help send IU Slam Poetry team to Nationals at the University of Colorado later this month.

Scott Miles in 2013 Best New Poets

Congratulations to Scott Miles (second year poet) whose "Ode to the Gods of French Cinema" has recently been published in 2013 Best New Poets from the University Press of Virginia: http://bestnewpoets.org/2013-edition-pre-order/
Matejka SHORT-listed for National Book Award *UPDATE*

Update
The Short List has been announced for the National Book Award in Poetry; and it is a formidable group:

Frank Bidart – UC-Riverside; Winner of: Bollingen Prize, Wallace Stevens Award, Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, Ambassador Book Award for Poetry.
Lucie Brock-Broido – Director of Poetry, Columbia University School of the Arts; Winner of Witter-Bynner prize of Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Matt Rasmussen – Winner of the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets.
Mary Szybist - Winner of Beatrice Hawley Award, National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, Witter Bynner Prize of Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship
And . . .

Adrian Matejka – Height 6’1” Weight 215lbs Reach 74”


Vegas is offering 9/5 on Matejka by TKO in the third round.
Poet Adrian Matejka has been named a semi-finalist for a National Book Award

Poet Adrian Matejka has been named a semi-finalist for a National Book Award, the National Book Foundation announced last week. His latest book of poems, "The Big Smoke," is about the life of boxer Jack Johnson. This year, for the first time, the National Book Foundation began a practice of releasing a “long list” of ten nominees that will be pared to a “short list” of five next month, with the winner being named in November. The National Book Foundation's mission is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America. Inclusion on the long list is a significant honor, involving selection from a list of roughly 200 nominated poets. Let’s wish Adrian well for the next month or so, as the tension mounts, along (no doubt) with reading invitations. Congratulations and good luck, Adrian.

The National Book Award is one of the nation's most prestigious literary prizes and has a stellar record of identifying and rewarding quality writing. In 1950, William Carlos Williams was the first Winner in Poetry, the following year William Faulkner was honored in Fiction, and so on through the years. Many previous Winners of a National Book Award are now firmly established in the canon of American literature, such as Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, Jonathan Franzen, Denis Johnson, Joyce Carol Oates, and Adrienne Rich.
NPR interview with Kiese Laymon about his recently published essay collection

Read the entire story and listen to the interview here.
Nandi Comer wins Crab Orchard Review's 2014 Richard Peterson Poetry Prize.

Congratulations to Nandi Comer (fourth year dual-degree, Poetry and AAADS) who was recently announced as the winner of Crab Orchard Review's 2014 Richard Peterson Poetry Prize. Nandi's winning entry was a set of three poems ("Detroit, Llorona, My Heart, My City"; "Losing Between Manholes and Myths"; and "The Warning") which will appear in Crab Orchard Review, Volume 19, Number 1 (Winter/Spring 2014), and for which she receives a prize of $2,000. This year's judge was Alison Joseph.