Three Faculty Members Named 2019-2020 Cullman Center Fellows

BY Zoe Contros Kearl, May 1, 2019

Writing professors Susan Bernofsky, Ben Marcus, and current adjunct Mitchell S. Jackson have all been named 2019-2020 Cullman Center Fellows by The New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. This year the committee selected its 21st class of Fellows, including 15 talented independent scholars, academics, and creative writers. The Fellows were selected from a pool of 481 applicants from 61 countries.


“The extraordinary range of this year’s Fellows is a testament to the depth of the Library’s collections and the strength of the Cullman Center,” said Anthony Marx, President of The New York Public Library. “I am honored to welcome each of them to the Schwarzman Building and eagerly await the exciting discoveries they will find at the Library.”


The 2019 class of Fellows will be in residence at the Cullman Center from September 2019 through May 2020. Each Fellow receives a stipend, a private office in the Cullman Center’s stately quarters at The New York Public Library’s landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, and full access to the renowned research collections and resources there, as well as the invaluable assistance of the Library’s curatorial and reference staff.


Headshot of Susan BernofskySusan Bernofsky’s literary translations include eight works of fiction by the great Swiss-German modernist author Robert Walser, as well as novels and poetry by Jenny Erpenbeck, Yoko Tawada, Franz Kafka, Hermann Hesse, Uljana Wolf, and others. A Guggenheim fellow and former chair of the PEN Translation Committee, she co-edited (with Esther Allen) the Columbia University Press anthology In Translation: Translators on Their Work and What It Means. Her translation of Jenny Erpenbeck’s novel The End of Days won the 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, The Schlegel-Tieck Translation Prize, the Ungar Award for Literary Translation, and the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize. Her translation of Yoko Tawada’s novel Memoirs of a Polar Bear (2016) won the inaugural Warwick Prize for Women in Translation. She is currently completing work on a biography of Robert Walser for Yale University Press and blogs about translation.


Headshot of Ben MarcusBen Marcus is the author of several books, including The Flame Alphabet, Notable American Women, Leaving the Sea, and The Age of Wire and String. A new book, Notes from the Fog, will be published in August, 2018. His writing has appeared in Harper's, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta, Best American Short Stories, The New York Times, McSweeney's, Conjunctions, and Tin House. He is the editor of New American Stories, and The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories. Among his honors are a Whiting Writers Award, a Creative Capital Award, an NEA Fellowship in fiction, a literature award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and three Pushcart Prizes. In 2013 he was a Guggenheim Fellow as well as a Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. He has been a member of the faculty at Columbia since 2000.


Headshot of Mitchell JacksonMitchell S. Jackson’s debut novel The Residue Years was praised by publications including The New York Times, The Paris Review, and The Times of London. Jackson is the winner of a Whiting Award and The Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence. His novel was also a finalist for the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the PEN/ Hemingway Award for First Fiction, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. His honors include fellowships from TED, the Lannan Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), the BreadLoaf Conference, and the Center for Fiction. His writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times Book Review, Salon, and Tin House. Jackson is a Clinical Associate Professor of Writing at New York University.