The finalists for several literary awards were recently announced.
Daily News from Poets & Writers
Fiction writers Richard Bausch, Lan Samantha Chang, Ben Marcus, and Jim Shepard have been chosen as finalists for the directorship of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Each has been asked to present a public reading at the University of Iowa.
Apart from brief interludes on The Oprah Winfrey Show and NBC’s Today, books don’t often end up on U.S. television. The recent launch of the Quill Awards—a new national book award program sponsored by Reed Business Information and NBC that will include a televised ceremony in October—may have authors feeling like celebrities, but an entire network show devoted to the written word is still a rarity. Not so in the United Kingdom, where several programs are proving that literature can make compelling television.
The National Book Critics Circle, a nonprofit organization composed of 600 book critics and reviewers from across the country, recently announced the finalists for the 2004 book awards.
Jean Valentine won the 2004 National Book Award in poetry for Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965-2003 (Wesleyan University Press).
Six women writers recently received Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Awards. Poets Dana Levin, Tracy Smith, and Sharon Strange, fiction writers Carin Clevidence and Ann Harleman, and creative nonfiction writer Michele Morano each received $10,000.
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recently announced that fiction writers Edward P. Jones and Aleksandar Hemon and poet C.D. Wright are among 23 recipients of this year's $500,000 "genius" fellowships.
Brian Lamb, the host of Booknotes, an author interview program on the cable television network C-SPAN, recently announced that the weekly program will cease production in December.
Frank Conroy, the fourth director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the oldest academic writing program in the country, will step down in December. A successor has not yet been announced.
Brian Chikwava, a fiction writer who was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, won the 2004 Caine Prize for African writing for his story "Seventh Street Alchemy."
This year marks the centennial of the births of several renowned literary writers, including Isaac Bashevis Singer, Pablo Neruda, Louis Zukofsky, and Graham Greene.
Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything Is Illuminated (Houghton Mifflin, 2002), recently announced that he returned the money he received from the PEN American Center when he won the PEN/Robert Bigham Fellowship last month.
British fiction writer Andrea Levy recently won the Orange Prize for Fiction for her fourth novel Small Island (Review Books). She received £30,000 (approximately $54,900).
The Man Group, the sponsor of the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction, recently announced it will award the first Man Booker International Prize in 2005.
Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, located at the foothills of Palomar Mountain in Southern California, was destroyed by a wildfire on May 2, 2004. All of the buildings on the 300-acre nature preserve were reduced to ash and rubble. The five artists in residence at the time were evacuated safely, but a large number of antiques were lost.
The American Booksellers Association recently compiled Best Books: The Best of Book Sense From the First Five Years, a list of titles that U.S. independent booksellers most enjoyed selling during the past five years. Booksellers voted from a ballot that included 371 titles culled from Book Sense 76 lists. The final list consists of 25 books in the categories of Adult Fiction, Adult Nonfiction, and Children's.
President George W. Bush is requesting that Congress increase the budget for the National Endowment for the Arts by $18 million in 2005. The proposal would raise the NEA's budget from $121 million in 2004 to $139 million in 2005. It would be the largest increase since 1984.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. recently announced the finalists for the 2003 Discover Great New Writers Awards. The winners in each category will receive $10,000. Second-place finalists receive $2,500, and third-place finalists receive $1,000. The winners will be named on March 3.
The National Book Critics Circle, a professional organization composed of 600 book critics and reviewers from across the country, recently announced the finalists for this year's book awards.