The MacArthur Foundation recently announced that poet and fiction writer Stuart Dybek and poet and publisher Peter Cole are among the twenty-four recipients of this year’s “genius” fellowships. The annual fellowships, each worth $500,000 over five years, are given without restriction in a variety of fields to “enable recipients to exercise their own creative instincts for the benefit of human society.”
Dybek is the author of the short story collections Childhood and Other Neighborhoods (Ecco, 1980), The Coast of Chicago (Knopf, 1990), and I Sailed with Magellan (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003) and the poetry collections Brass Knuckles (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1979) and Streets in Their Own Ink (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004). The foundation noted Dybek's attention to "the literature and iconography of the Old World while exploring the imaginations of contemporary American communities."
Cole is cofounder and coeditor of Ibis Editions, a nonprofit publishing house in Jerusalem. He is the author of two volumes of poetry, Rift (Station Hill Press, 1989) and Hymns & Qualms (Sheep Meadow Press, 1998), and has published many volumes of translation from Hebrew and Arabic. Cole was noted for his "unique vision of the cultural, religious, and linguistic intractions that were and are possible among peoples of the Middle East."
Over seven hundred individuals in different professional fields have received MacArthur Fellowships since 1981. Past recipients include poets Adrienne Rich, Charles Simic, and Mark Strand, and fiction writers Lydia Davis, Thomas Pynchon, and Colson Whitehead.