Columbia University School of the Arts Faculty and Alumni Win 2014 Guggenheim Fellowships

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Susan Bernofsky
New York, NY April 14, 2014—Seven members of the Columbia University School of the Arts community were among the winners of the 2014 Guggenheim Fellowships.

Susan Bernofsky, Associate Professor and Director of Literary Translation at Columbia, was awarded a Humanities Fellowship in Translation. Creative Arts Fellowships went to three adjunct members of the Writing Program faculty: Hari Kunzru and Julie Orringer in Fiction, and Emily Fragos in Poetry, who is also a 1995 School of the Arts alumna. Creative Arts Fellowships were also awarded to three School of the Arts alumni: Victoria Redel (’86) in Fiction, Jeffrey Skinner (’78) in Poetry, and Anna Conway (’02) in Fine Arts.

“What a magnificent and deserved honor for all of these fabulous faculty and alumni,” said Carol Becker, Dean of Faculty. “The School of the Arts is extremely proud.”

This year marks the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation’s ninetieth annual competition for the United States and Canada. The Foundation has awarded Fellowships to a diverse group of 178 scholars, artists and scientists, chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants.

“It’s exciting to name 178 new Guggenheim Fellows. These artists and writers, scholars and scientists, represent the best of the best,” said Foundation President, Edward Hirsch. “Since 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has always bet everything on the individual, and we’re thrilled to continue the tradition with this wonderfully talented and diverse group. It’s an honor to be able to support these individuals to do the work they were meant to do.”

Since its establishment, the Foundation has granted over $315 million in Fellowships to almost 17,700 individuals. Previous Columbia University School of the Arts Guggenheim Fellows include visual artists Chitra Ganesh (’02) and Gregory Amenoff (Eve and Herman Gelman Professor of the Visual Arts); Writing faculty Stacey D’Erasmo, Timothy Donnelly (’98), Victor LaValle, Sam Lipsyte andBen Marcus, andalumni Kiran Desai (’99), Karen Russell (’06), Brenda Shaughnessy (’98) and Terese Svoboda (’78); and Film facultyRamin Bahrani, Tom Kalin, and Ira Sachs, and alumni Cherien Dabis (’04) and Ian Olds (’06).

Columbia School of the Arts Faculty Winners
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Susan Bernofsky directs the program Literary Translation at Columbia in the Writing Program in  School of the Arts. Among her many published translations are retranslations of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha and Franz Kafka's classic black comedy of nightmarish transformation, The Metamorphosis. She specializes in the work of the great Swiss-German modernist author Robert Walser: she has translated seven of his books, including MicroscriptsBerlin Stories, and The Walk, and is writing his biography. Her translation of Jeremias Gotthelf's nineteenth-century tale of horror, The Black Spider, was published in 2013 by New York Review Books Classics. Her most recent translation, of Jenny Erpenbeck’s novel The End of Days, is forthcoming from New Directions in November 2014. Her new libretto for Mozart’s The Magic Flute premieres in May 2014 at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis in a production by Isaac Mizrahi, with choreography by John Heginbotham and conducted by Jane Glover. Her previous awards include the 2006 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translation Prize and the 2012 Hermann Hesse Translation Prize of the City of Calw, as well as grants and fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the PEN Translation Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the CUNY Graduate Center, and the Lannan Foundation. She currently serves on the Board of the American Literary Translators Association and chairs the Translation Committee of the PEN American Center. In 2013 she co-edited (with Esther Allen) the Columbia University Press anthology In Translation: Translators on Their Work and What It Means, featuring thoughts on translation by leading voices in the field.

Emily Fragos's (’95) acclaimed first book of poems, Little Savage, was published by Grove Press in 2004. Her newest collection, Hostage: New & Selected, was considered for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is the 2014 recipient of the Arts & Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has selected and edited five best-selling anthologies for the Everyman's Pocket Library: The Letters of Emily Dickinson, Music's Spell, The Dance, The Great Cat, and Art & Artists. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Best American Poetry, The American Poetry Review, The New Republic, The Paris Review, The Boston Review, Ploughshares, Parnassus, The Threepenny Review, The Yale Review, The Cimarron Review, The Dish, and numerous other journals. She has also served as guest poetry editor of Guernica and written numerous articles on dance and music for Bomb, Pointe, Playbill, International Piano, the Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the Kennedy Center, and the National Ballet of Canada. She wrote the libretto for Don Quixote for the latter two companies. Several of her poems have been chosen for inclusion in anthologies and have been translated into Greek, Japanese, and Spanish. She has given many readings of her poetry, principal among them are the 92nd St. Y's "Tenth Muse" program, the Dodge Poetry Festival, the Joaquin Miller Poetry Series in Washington, DC, and Fordham's Poets Out Loud. She has been interviewed for the Paris Review blog, upstreet magazine, and Guernica ("An Eternal Poet"). Emily has long volunteered to teach poetry workshops for the disabled and elderly at nursing/rehabilitation centers in Westchester, NY. She has taught at Yale and currently teaches at New York University in addition to Columbia. 

Hari Kunzru is an the author of the novels The Impressionist, TransmissionMy Revolutions, and Gods Without Men, as well as a short-story collection, Noise and a novella, Memory Palace. His work has been translated into 20 languages. In 2003 Granta named him one of its 20 best young British novelists. He is a former Deputy President of English PEN. His short stories and essays have appeared in diverse publications including The New York Times, New Yorker, Guardian, London Review of Books, Times of India, Wired, Book Forum, and Frieze. In 2008 he moved to New York City as a fellow of the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.

Julie Orringer is the author of two award-winning books of fiction: The Invisible Bridge, a novel set in Europe during the Second World War, and How to Breathe Underwater, a collection of short stories. She is a graduate of Cornell University, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and the Stegner Fellowship Program at Stanford, and has also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center at the New York Public Library, and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, where she delivered the 2013 Julia S. Phelps Lecture in Art and the Humanities. She has taught fiction writing at the University of Iowa, Stanford, Columbia, the University of Michigan, NYU, and Brooklyn College. Orringer’s stories have appeared in the Paris ReviewYale ReviewWashington Post, Ploughshares, and McSweeney’s, and have been anthologized in The Granta Book of the American Short Story and The Scribner Anthology of American Fiction. Her novel and story collection were named New York Times Notable Books and were selected as Best Books of the Year by the San Francisco ChronicleBoston GlobeChicago Tribune, and Washington Post; they have been translated into fifteen languages, adapted for stage and radio, and designated as required reading for university students from Berkeley to Budapest. The Invisible Bridge is currently being adapted for film by Daniel Ravasz, Lajos Koltai, and Branko Lustig. Orringer lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she is now at work on a novel about Varian Fry, the New York journalist who went to Marseille in 1940 to save writers and artists blacklisted by the Gestapo.

Columbia University School of the Arts Alumni Winners
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Anna Conway (’02) lives and works in New York City, having received her BFA from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and her MFA from Columbia University. Conway's work has been exhibited widely nationally and internationally at galleries and museums: for example, in New York at MOMA PS1; University Art Museum, Albany; American Academy of Arts and Letters; American Contemporary Gallery; Guild and Greyshkul; Mitchell, Innes and Nash; at Kansas City's Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art; and in Europe at DePury & Luxembourg, Zurich, Switzerland and Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels. Her work has been reviewed and featured in Annual Art Magazine, Art in America, Art Review, Artforum, Frieze, McSweeney's Quarterly, Modern Painters, New American Paintings, New York Times, New Yorker, and Time Out New York, among others. Conway was included in Art Review's "100 Future Greats" and its publication and exhibition Art Review 25: Emerging US Artists. Conway has been the recipient of two Pollock-Krasner Foundation Awards, the 2008 American Academy of Arts and Letters William L. Metcalf Award,  and Columbia University's Debra Sabato Award for painting. Conway has taught both graduate and undergraduate students at Brooklyn College, Columbia University, Cooper Union School of Art, and Parsons School of Design, and she has lectured at numerous other schools, including Boston University, Brandeis College, and Yale University.

Victoria Redel (’86) is the author of the novels The Border of Truth and Loverboy, and of  two collections of short fiction: Make Me Do Things and Where the Road Bottoms Out. She is also the author of three award-winning collections of poetry: Woman Without UmbrellaSwoon, and Already the World. Her debut novel, Loverboy, was awarded the S. Mariella Novel Award, the Foreward fiction prize, selected as a Borders Original Voice, a Los Angeles Times Best Book and was adapted for a feature-length film released in 2006. Victoria Redel’s fiction, poetry, and essays have been widely anthologized and translated into six languages. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times,, Guernica, Salmagundi, NOON, Elle, Harvard Review, and other fine publications. Additionally, Redel has been the recipient of an NEA fellowship, a Fine Arts Work Center fellowship, the Tom and Stan Wick Poetry Award, and was a finalist for the James Laughlin Award. Redel is currently on the permanent undergraduate and graduate faculty at Sarah Lawrence College. She has taught in the MFA programs at Columbia University and Vermont College, and was the 2013 McGee Professor at Davidson College. 

Jeffrey Skinner’s (’78) most recent book (memoir, advice, humor), The 6.5 Practices of Moderately Successful Poets, was published to wide attention and acclaim, including a full-page positive review in the July 19, 2012 Sunday New York Times Book Review. His most recent collection of poems, Glaciology, was chosen in 2012 as winner in the Crab Orchard Open Poetry Competition, and was published by Southern Illinois University press in Fall 2013. Jeffrey Skinner has published five collections of poetry: Late Stars, A Guide to Forgetting (a winner in the 1987 National Poetry series, chosen by Tess Gallagher), The Company of Heaven (Pitt Poetry Series), Gender Studies, and Salt WaterAmnesia. He has written an informal text on creative writing for high school students, Real Toads in Imaginary Gardens, and, with the poet Sarah Gorham, edited an anthology, Last Call: Poems on Alcoholism, Addiction, & Deliverance. His poems have appeared in many magazines, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation, The American Poetry Review, Poetry, DoubleTake, and The Georgia, Iowa, and Paris Reviews. His poems, stories, and plays have also been included in many anthologies. Skinner’s writing has gathered grants, fellowships, and awards from such sources as the National Endowment for the Arts (two awards: 1986, 2007), the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Howard Foundation, and the state arts agencies of Connecticut, Delaware, and Kentucky. Three of his plays have been finalists in the Eugene O’Neill Theater Conference competition, and his one-act, Delta Waves, won the 1991 Market Theater short play competition. His full-length play Fortunate Son was given a staged reading at the O’Neill Center as part of the 2002 Local Playwrights Festival, and again at The Theater at Monmouth, in Maine. His plays have had productions in New York City, Ohio, Philadelphia, and Kentucky.

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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.