Victoria Chang Awarded 2014 PEN Center USA Award in Poetry

Victoria-ChangAlumna and former Holden Scholar Victoria Chang (poetry, ’05) has been awarded the 2014 PEN Center USA Award in Poetry for her third collection, The Boss (McSweeney’s, 2013).  She and the award winners in nine other categories will each receive $1000 and will be honored at the 24th Annual Literary Awards Festival at the Beverly Hills Wilshire on November 11, 2014.  The Boss was also awarded a silver medal in the California Book Awards earlier this year.

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The Collagist Interviews Matthew Luzitano

An interview with alumnus Matthew Luzitano (poetry, ’12) focusing on his poem “Cleopatra Recovered” appears at The Collagist:

As a writer, and for this poem specifically, what helps guide your decisions as to where lines and stanzas break?

I tend to break before surprises, not necessarily in a cheep “peek-a-boo” fashion (at least I hope it isn’t), but more to keep from lulling a reader. For example, in the third stanza “armadillos / with samples of their calcified scat—” breaks before a surprise. It helps weed out weak lines. If I go three or four lines and there’s nothing interesting to emphasize, I look to cut or lean that portion of the poem.

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Brian Blanchfield Wins James Laughlin Award

Brian Blanchfield (poetry, ’99) has been awarded the James Laughlin Award by the Academy of American Poets for his book A Several World (Nightboat Books, 2014). The award recognizes a superior second book of poetry by an American poet.

Brian is the second Warren Wilson MFA graduate to receive this honor. Catherine Barnett (poetry, ’02) won the Laughlin Award in 2012 for The Game Of Boxes (Graywolf, 2012).

Past faculty members who have won the award include Lisel Mueller (1975, The Private Life), Larry Levis (1976, The Afterlife) and Tony Hoagland (1997, Donkey Gospel).

The full announcement can be found online…

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Publisher’s Weekly On Low-Residency MFA Programs

Low-residency MFA programs (including The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College) are the focus of a new article at Publisher’s Weekly:

For many people, traditional M.F.A. programs are impractical. Most graduate writing programs take two to three years to complete, and many award students teaching fellowships and/or positions on university-run publications that make keeping a full-time job difficult, if not downright impossible.

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Explore the Waters of Wisconsin With Liam Callanan

Faculty member Liam Callanan’s travel article “Wisconsin: A Water-Lover’s Wonderland” appears in The Wall Street Journal:

IF WATER IS the new oil, then Wisconsin is looking like the new Dubai.

That’s not only because Wisconsin has so much of this precious resource—the state claims 15,000 lakes to Minnesota’s measly 10,000—but because it has figured out so many ways to exploit its abundance. Wisconsin’s claim to fame as America’s Dairyland can obscure how critical a role water plays here, for business (Milwaukee styles itself as a kind of Silicon Valley of H20) and tourists. Those who prefer their water with salt should look elsewhere. But on a recent trip around the state, my family found that it offered something for every one of us.

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