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Professor Ross Gay and Alum Kyle Dargan Named Finalists for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award

From the Claremont Graduate University Press Release: "The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is given annually to honor a poet at mid-career, providing resources that allow the artist to continue working toward the pinnacle of their craft.

'“The roster of eligible books testified to the extraordinary range and diverse beauty of current American poetry; to pick only ten finalists for two awards should have been impossible,” said Lori Anne Ferrell, director of the Kingsley and Kate Tufts Poetry Awards. “So I have no idea how the judges will be able to go on to choose only two winners, but I can’t wait to be there when they do.”'

"Winners will be announced in March and recognized during a ceremony on April 7."
Ross Gay named National Book Awards Finalist

Ross Gay's Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (Pitt Poetry Series/University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015) is a finalist for the 2015 National Book Awards.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony in New York on November 18th.

Congratulations, Ross!

Read more:
Jacqueline Jones LaMon Elected President of Cave Canem Foundation

The Cave Canem Foundation, North Americas premier home for black poetry, is pleased to announce that Jacqueline Jones LaMon (MFA, '06) has been elected to serve as the organizations next president. She succeeds Cave Canem co-founder Toi Derricotte, who held the office from February 1997 to late September 2015. Derricotte will continue to serve on the board as a director.

Reflecting on the work ahead, LaMon says, In our next phase of development, Cave Canems board, staff and stakeholders will build on the solid groundwork established by Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady, continuing to advance the organization as the premier center and home for African American poetries. She sees her two-year term as president as an opportunity to strengthen Cave Canems infrastructure and ensure a healthy foundation for decades to comeemphasizing our creative excellence, shaping our legacy of mentorship, and promoting entrepreneurial leadership.

LaMon is the author of two award-winning collections of poetry, most recently, Last Seen (University of Wisconsin Press), and a novel, In the Arms of One Who Loves Me (Ballantine Books). An Associate Professor at Adelphi University, where she teaches in the multi-genre MFA program, she has received fellowships from Yaddo Foundation, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Read the full press release here.
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 marriages 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:

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 Johns University, has written that Philip Metress 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.

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 countrys 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.
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: