United States Artists (USA) announced last week the recipients of the second annual USA Fellowships in literature. They are poets Marilyn Chin, Henri Cole, and Chérrie Moraga, fiction writers Charles D’Ambrosio, William Gay, John Haines, Mat Johnson, and Helena María Viramontes, and playwright Luis Valdez. They each received an unrestricted grant of $50,000. The literature fellows, along with forty-two additional artists working in seven other fields, were honored at a ceremony on Saturday, November 17, at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles.
USA was formed in 2006 with $20 million of initial funding from the Ford, Prudential, Rasmuson, and Rockefeller charitable foundations "to nurture, support, and strengthen the work of America’s finest living artists." This year’s winners were chosen from among 344 applicants nominated by arts leaders from across the country.