The Writer's Center is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2011-12 Emerging Writer Fellowships. The Emerging Writer Fellowships are awarded to writers who have published up to two book-length works of prose and up to three book-length works of poetry. We received 80 submissions for this round of awards. Writers applied from across the country and included a diverse pool of voices from a variety of backgrounds and traditions. 23 writers in three genres were selected as finalists, and from those, six writers were recommended by our committee to receive funding. This coming year, as in 2010-11, the Emerging Writer Fellowships will receive funding by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Our selection committee included members from our community: Margot Backas represented our Board of Directors; Deborah Ager, Bernadette Geyer, Laura Fargas, and Peter Brown represented our workshop leaders; and our membership was represented by Serena Agusto-Cox, Bettina Lanyi, and Mary Westcott.
The recipients will receive a cash prize and will appear in our fall & spring event series at The Writer’s Center. The lineups for the two events appear below.
Emerging Writer Fellowship Fall Celebration & Reading
Friday, September 23
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Ellis Avery is the author of two novels and a memoir. Her first novel, The Teahouse Fire, set in the tea ceremony world of 19th century Japan, won Lambda, Ohioana, and American Library Association Stonewall book awards and has been translated into five languages. Her second novel, The Last Nude, inspired by the Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka, is forthcoming from Riverhead in January. Avery teaches creative writing at Columbia University and lives in New York City.
Christopher Goodrich teaches English and Play Directing at the Academy of Musical Theatre, Northwood High School, in Silver Spring, MD. He has also taught at New York University and Frostburg State University. His poems have appeared in Margie, Entelechy International, Diner, 5AM, Kestrel, Hotel Amerika, Rattle, The New York Quarterly, The Sycamore Review, The Cimarron Review, Cider Press Review, and The Worcester Review. He has been featured on Verse Daily and NPR. He is the recipient of a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize and holds an M.F.A. from New England College. A Chapbook, By Reaching, was published in 2007. His first book, Nevertheless Hello, was published in 2009. He has recently completed a second manuscript, "No Texting at the Dinner Table."
Angela Woodward is the author of the fiction collection The Human Mind and the novella End of the Fire Cult. Her stories have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Ninth Letter, Diagram, Salt Hill, 13th Moon, Pebble Lake Review, Gulf Coast, and Quarter After Eight. She has been a resident fellow at Ragdale (Lake Forest, Illinois), the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts (Nebraska City, Nebraska), and the Northeast Frontier Foundation (Norton Island, Maine). She is a past recipient of an Illinois Arts Council fellowship for fiction. Several of her short stories have been adapted for the stage and performed at Chicago’s Rhinoceros Theater Festival and elsewhere. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
Emerging Writer Fellowship Spring Celebration & Reading
Friday, March 23
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Ira Sukrungruang is a Thai American, born and raised in the southside of Chicago. He co-edited with Donna Jarrell two literary anthologies about fat: What Are You Looking At? The First Fat Fiction Anthology and Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology. His work has appeared in The Sun, Creative Nonfiction, North American Review, and other literary journals. Recently, his memoir Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy was published by University of Missouri Press. He is the co-founder of Sweet: A Literary Confection, an online periodical, and teaches in the MFA program at University of South Florida.
Traci Brimhall is the author of the forthcoming Our Lady of the Ruins , selected by Carolyn Forché for the 2011 Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Rookery, winner of the 2009 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Slate, Missouri Review, Kenyon Review, and Southern Review. She is a former Halls Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and currently teaches at Western Michigan University, where she is a doctoral candidate and a King/Chávez/Parks Fellow.
Joanne Diaz is the recipient of fellowships from the the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council, the New York Times Foundation, and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. Her book, The Lessons, won the Gerald Cable first book award and was published in 2011. Her poems have been published in AGNI, The American Poetry Review, The Southern Review, and Third Coast. She is an assistant professor in the English department at Illinois Wesleyan University.