Valuables by Floor Grootenhuis, image courtesy of Tanya Paperny

Alumna Tanya Paperny ’11 Wins Two Honors in Genre-Switching Feat

BY Rochelle Goldstein, February 13, 2020

© Fid Thompson


This past year, alumna Tanya Paperny ’11, won the 2019 Tusculum Poetry Chapbook Prize for & OTHER VALUABLES that deals with sexual violence, intergenerational trauma, and resilience, a work available for publication. Paperny also addressed these concerns in a collection of essays for which she won a fellowship from the Washington DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.  


In bestowing the fellowship the Commission cited Paperny as an artist who has “significantly contributed to the District of Columbia as a world class cultural capital.” In addition to writing, Paperny is a social and political activist, artist, and translator.


Paperny, whose parents emigrated from the Soviet Union to the US in the 80s, has written about her experiences as a child of immigrants and about a range of social issues in both prose and poetry. Her work appears in such publications as the Atlantic, Harper's Magazine, and the Washington Post


In other news, Paperny’s poem “Prababushka” about her revolutionary great-grandmother, was selected as Split This Rock’s “Poem of the Week” in 2018, and she is at work on a literary nonfiction book about the same badass great-grandmother.