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Loyola writer-in-residence wins Guggenheim Fellowship

April 16, 2012 | By Nick Alexopulos

Lia Purpura, MFA, writer-in-residence and affiliate associate professor of writing at Loyola University Maryland, has been awarded a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to support her work on her next book.

Purpura is one of 181 scholars, artists, and scientists out of nearly 3,000 U.S. and Canadian applicants to be named a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow in the Foundation’s 88th annual competition. Only 12 other fellowships were awarded in her “General Nonfiction” field.

“It is a thrill to be recognized at this level by such a prestigious organization and the readers and writers who evaluated my work,” said Purpura. “You’re up against a tremendous number of the most talented people in your field.”

The foundation considers both prior and future projects when selecting fellows. Purpura has written seven books, including the recently published Rough Likeness, and numerous poems and essays in her professional career. In her proposal to the foundation, Purpura outlined her plan to write a book of essays that will explore the ways people relate to and form relationships with the natural world.

Since its establishment in 1925, the foundation has granted nearly $290 million in fellowships to more than 17,000 individuals. Many Guggenheim Fellows have gone on to win Nobel, Pulitzer, and other prizes.

Purpura’s other honors include finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award (for On Looking), the Beatrice Hawley Award (for King Baby), the Associated Writing Programs Award (for Increase), the Ohio State University Press Award (for Stone Sky Lifting), four Pushcart Prizes, an NEA Fellowship in prose, a Fulbright Fellowship in translation, grants from the Maryland State Arts Council, and multiple residencies at the MacDowell Colony and others. Her work has appeared in Best American Essays, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Orion, Agni, Field, The Georgia Review, The Iowa Review, Parnassus: Poetry in Review, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, and in many anthologies.

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