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Mattawa Named MacArthur Fellow

"Those who think creativity is dying should examine the life’s 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: http://www.macfound.org/fellows/922/
Upadhyay's latest novel, The City Son, "not for the faint of heart"

Samrat Upadhyay's latest novel, The City Son, has just been released by independent New York publisher, Soho Press, and is already garnering significant attention. The Wall Street Journal review notes "There's an eerie element of black magic in Didi's Svengali-like manipulation that evokes the domestic horror novels of Shirley Jackson. This superb book stages an intensely powerful showdown.”

http://sohopress.com/books/the-city-son/


“The Big Smoke” short-listed for Pulitzer

Adrian Matejka’s The Big Smoke earned yet another significant accolade last week, when it was announced as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, one of America’s foremost literary awards. A distinguished three-person panel (this year’s panel consisted of a poet, an editor, and a critic) select, each year, three books of poetry, from whom the 18-person Pulitzer Board selects one as the annual award recipient; to have emerged as one of only three finalists from the hundreds of nominated books is a tremendous honor. You can read an interview about the process with one of this year’s selectors here.

In a recent interview, Adrian said of the recent honors garnered by The Big Smoke: “These recognitions are wonderful affirmations for ‘The Big Smoke’ and Jack Johnson’s story . . . in many ways, each of those accolades points back to Johnson, as it should, since I wrote the book trying to bring his story into the contemporary dialogue of race and politics. It’s humbling and extraordinary at the same time.” Read the full interview here.

There are times for humility and times for justifiable pride; this is one of the latter times, and all of us at Indiana offer our heartfelt congratulations to Adrian for his achievement.
"Townsend’s writing full of fresh turns of phrase and keen insights"

The headline above is taken from a review by Ayana Mathis in the most recent Sunday Review of Books from the New York Times. Congratulations, Jacinda, on this positive notice of your "compelling debut."

Read the review here.
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/