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Seven from Bennington Awarded 2013 Guggenheim Fellowships

Apr 15, 2013

Visual arts faculty member Ann Pibal, alumnae Kiran Desai ’93, Anne Waldman '66, and Cora Cohen '64, and MFA faculty members Major Jackson (poetry), J.C. Hallman (nonfiction), and Brenda Shaughnessy (poetry) are among the 175 artists, scholars, and scientists—out of nearly 3,000 applicants—to receive 2013 Guggenheim Fellowships.

Ann Pibal’s abstract paintings have been exhibited widely at venues in the United States and Europe (including, currently, at the Steven Zevitas Gallery in Boston). Her work is displayed in many public collections, including The Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Hirshhorn Museum, Smithsonian Institution, and the Yale University Art Gallery. She has received awards from the Tiffany Foundation, The Joan Mitchell Foundation, The New York Foundation for the Arts, The Pollock Krasner Foundation, and others.

Kiran Desai ’93 is the author of two novels, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, which won the Betty Trask Prize in 1998, and The Inheritance of Loss, which won the Man Booker in 2006, making her the youngest woman ever to win the prize. It was also awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award and was included in the Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year, New York Times Notable Books of the Year and ALA Notable Books of the Year. It was translated into over thirty-five languages. Her essays have appeared in various publications, including the New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Guardian, Gourmet, Travel and Leisure, Best American Travel Writing, and Eat, Memory: Great Writers at the Table. In 2009, she was presented with the Columbia University Medal for Excellence.

Anne Waldman ’66 is the author of the long chant poem Fast Speaking Woman, the selected volumes Helping the Dreamer and In the Room of Never Grieve, and four long hybrid poems from Penguin Poets, including the most recent Gossamurmur. Other book-length poems include Marriage: A Sentence, Structure of the World Compared to a Bubble, and Manatee/Humanity. Her thousand-page three-volume feminist epic The Iovis Trilogy: Colors in the Mechanism of Concealment won the PEN America Literary Award for Poetry in 2012.  She is a former Director of The Poetry Project at St Mark's Church In-the-Bowery and co-founded The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University  (the first Buddhist-inspired university in the west) with Allen Ginsberg in 1974 where she continues to direct its innovative Summer Writing Program. She is the winner of the Shelley Memorial Award, the Dylan Thomas Memorial Prize, the National Literary Anthology Award, the Poets Foundation Award, and is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Cora Cohen ‘64 is a New York artist known for abstract paintings that draw on contemporary urban and philosophical sources. Her works have been written about extensively in various publications including The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, Art in America, Art News, Flash Art, The New Yorker, Time Out New York, New York Magazine, ArtNet Magazine, openpr.de, and artcritical.com. Her work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Swedish State Art Council, Stockholm, The Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, and Yale University, New Haven. Cohen's recent awards include a Gottlieb Foundation Award, a Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation Space Program Award, Brooklyn, New York, and The Edward F. Albee Foundation Residency Award in Montauk, New York. She has received awards from the Pollock Krasner Foundation, the NEA, the New York State Council for the Arts, and Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, New York.

Major Jackson is the author of three poetry collections: Holding Company; Hoops; and Leaving Saturn, which was awarded the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has published poems and essays in AGNI, American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Poetry, Tin House, and other periodicals. His poetry has been included in Best American Poetry and Best of the Best American Poetry. Jackson is a recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writers' Award, and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation.

J.C. Hallman he is the author of a number of books, including The Chess Artist, The Devil is a Gentleman, The Hospital for Bad Poets, In Utopia, and Wm & H’ry. He is the editor of two anthologies of “creative criticism,” The Story About the Story and The Story About the Story II. His work has received a McKnight Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, and has appeared in numerous anthologies. He is currently at work on a book about Nicholson Baker titled B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal.

Brenda Shaughnessy is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Our Andromeda. Her other books are Human Dark with Sugar, which was a finalist for the 2008 NBCC Award and winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, and Interior with Sudden Joy, finalist for the Lambda Literary Award.  Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Harpers, McSweeney’s, The Nation, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Yale Review, and elsewhere. Shaughnessy was the recipient of a Bunting Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, an NEA/ Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Fellowship, and a 2010–2011 Howard Foundation Fellowship from Brown University.

For more on this year’s Guggenheim recipients, click here.