Writing 2015-2016 Roundup

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This year, many Columbia alumni, faculty, and current students saw their work published and honored, including several graduates who published books for the first time. Some of these accomplishments have been highlighted in the list below.

Two Writing Program alumni received 2016 Guggenheim Fellowships, including Jesse Ball ‘04 for fiction and Amanda Petrusich ‘05 for General Nonfiction.

Faculty Margo Jefferson and Paul Beatty won National Book Critics Circle Awards for their books from 2015. Jefferson’s memoir Negroland (Pantheon) won for Autobiography and Beatty’s novel The Sellout (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) won for Fiction.

Catherine Lacey ’10, the author of Nobody Is Ever Missing (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014) won a 2016 Whiting Award for Fiction. Lacey has two books forthcoming from FSG.

Associate Professor Susan Bernofsky won the Schlegel-Tieck Prize for her translation of German writer Jenny Erpenbeck’s The End of Days (New Directions).

Matt Gallagher ’13 published his acclaimed debut novel, Youngblood (Simon and Schuster). An Iraq War veteran, Gallagher’s first book, Kaboom (Da Capo) was based on a popular blog he kept while serving.

Six Columbia writers were included in Boston Review’s best poems of 2015, including current students and recent alumni.

Benjamin Taylor (adjunct faculty) published a new biography of writer Marcel Proust. Taylor’s book, Proust: The Search (Yale University Press), has been praised for its psychic attunement to Proust’s spirit.

Students Eduardo Martinez-Leyva and Elizabeth Metzger were selected as Best New Poets for 2015, chosen by Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith ’97.

Garnering some of the most prestigious prizes for American writing, these members of the School of the Arts community contributed to the far reach of Columbia’s creative network. For a comprehensive catalogue of Writing Program news, visit the Writing page.   

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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.