Two Writing Program Alumni to Judge the 2017 National Book Awards

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Gregory Pardlo
Writing Program alumni Gregory Pardlo ‘16 and Karolina Waclawiak ‘10 have been announced as two of the judges of the 2017 National Book Awards. Pardlo, who won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, will judge in the Poetry category alongside poets Nick Flynn, Jane Mead, Richard Siken, and Monica Youn. Waclawiak, who has published the novels How to Get Into the Twin Palms and The Invaders, will judge in the Fiction category, alongside Alexander Chee, Dave Eggers, Annie Philbrick, and Jacqueline Woodson.

Pardlo, in addition to his Pulitzer Prize–winning book Digest, has published the collection Totem, which won the 2007 American Poetry Review/Honickman Prize. He has also published nonfiction, including a recent essay on the New Yorker website about his father’s participation in air-traffic controller strike in the 1980s. His memoir in essays, called Air Traffic, is forthcoming from Knopf. A former instructor in the Undergraduate Writing Program at Columbia, he is currently on the faculty of the MFA program in creative writing at Rutgers University–Camden. In addition to his MFA in nonfiction from Columbia, Pardlo holds a Master’s in poetry from New York University and is a doctoral candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Waclawiak, in addition to her two novels, has published work in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. She is a former editor of the literary magazine The Believer and is currently Deputy Culture Editor at BuzzFeed News. According to her website, her novel The Invaders was recently optioned by ABC.

The longlist for the National Book Awards, which in addition to Poetry and Fiction bestows prizes in Nonfiction and Young People’s Literature, will be announced in September, followed by the shortlist in October. The winners will be announced at a ceremony and benefit dinner on November 15.

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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.