Indiana University Creative Writing Program
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Alumna Cameron Gearan's First Book, Some Perfect Year, Published

On March 15, 2016, Cameron Gearan's book of poems, Some Perfect Year, was released by Shearsman Books. Gearan completed her MFA at IU in 2000, with David Wojahn as her thesis advisor, who had this to say about the new book, "At a time when other poets too often use their skills to explore superficial ironies and the easy tour de force, it is refreshing to see a poet who aspires to more durable goals. SOME PERFECT YEAR is a debut collection of considerable distinction." Along with being a published poet, Gearan works as a freelance writer and college counselor and lives outside of Chicago with her daughters and her dog.
Alum Alexander Weinstein's First Book to Be Released in September

Alexander Weinstein's (MFA in Fiction 2010) debut short story collection, Children of the New World, will be forthcoming from Picador in September 2016. He is a 2015 recipient of a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award in fiction, and his short stories have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, received the Lamar York, Gail Crump, Hamlin-Garland, and New Millennium Prizes, and appear in the anthologies New Stories from the Midwest 2013, and the 2014 & 2015 Lascaux Prize Stories. In 2010 he founded The Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. The Institue offers creative writing awards and scholarships to its summer writing program. His recent short stories and translations are forthcoming in Pleiades, Conduit, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Chattahoochee Review, and other journals. He is an assistant professor of Creative Writing at Siena Heights University, and lives in Ann Arbor with his son, Peter.

Links to prize stories:
The Prophet
Children of the New World
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."
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.
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!
Kyle Dargan's Honest Engine

Congratulations to Kyle Dargan (2005 Graduate, Poetry) for publishing his fourth collection of poetry, Honest Engine (University of Georgia Press, 2015). In this collection, Dargan examines the mechanics of the heart and mind as they are weathered by loss.

Following a spate of deaths among family and friends, Dargan chooses to present not color-negative elegies but self-portraits that capture what of these departed figures
remains within him. Amid this processing of mortality, it becomes clear that he has arrived at a turning point as a writer and a man.

Scary smart and admirably vulnerable, this book is a treasure." - Victor LaValle, novelist and author of Big Machine and The Devil in Silver
Mattawa Named MacArthur Fellow

"Those who think creativity is dying should examine the lifes work of these extraordinary innovators who work in diverse fields and in different ways to improve our lives and better our world, said Cecilia Conrad, Vice President, MacArthur Fellows Program. Together, they expand our view of what is possible, and they inspire us to apply our own talents and imagination.

Among those to whom Conrad was referring as she introduced the 2014 recipients of MacArthur Foundation Fellowship's was our own Khaled Mattawa, who received his MFA in poetry here in 1994. Mattawa's work in translation, transnationalism and Arab and Arab-American poetry makes important contributions to a better understanding of the important role art has to play in cultural mediation. The MacArthur Foundation Fellowships are among the most prestigious accolades in the academic world. Congratulations, Khaled!

Read more about Prof. Mattawa's work and the MacArthur Foundation here: