"The Lannan Literary Awards and Fellowships were established in 1989 to honor both established and emerging writers whose work is of exceptional quality"
The Lannan Foundation has awarded its 2011 Lannan Literary Fellowships to poets Sherwin Bitsui and Atsuro Riley.
Sherwin Bitsui is originally from White Cone, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. He is Diné of the Todich'ii'nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for the Tl''zilani (Many Goats Clan). His first collection of poems was Shapeshift (University of Arizona Press 2003) and his second, Flood Song (Copper Canyon Press 2009), for which he received a 2010 PEN Open Book Award and an American Book Award.
Atsuro Riley is the author of Romey's Order, published in 2010 by the University of Chicago Press. His heavily stressed, percussive, consonant-rich, free-verse poems conjure up the elemental images of the lives of people inhabiting a specific, acutely portrayed landscape. His poems are dense with impressions, voices, and glimpses of people who have experienced the Vietnam War, rural life, and the South. His work has been honored with the Pushcart Prize, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, The Believer Poetry Award, the Wood Prize from Poetry magazine and the Witter Bynner Award from the Library of Congress.
The Lannan Literary Awards and Fellowships were established in 1989 to honor both established and emerging writers whose work is of exceptional quality. Over the last 20 years, Lannan Foundation, through its Awards and Fellowships Program, has awarded 173 writers and poets more than $13 million. The awards recognize writers who have made significant contributions to English-language literature. The fellowships recognize writers of distinctive literary merit who demonstrate potential for continued outstanding work.
Candidates for the awards and fellowships are recommended to the Roundation by a network of writers, literary scholars, publishers and editors. Nominators are geographically dispersed and serve anonymously. The final determination of recipients is made by the Roundation’s literary committee.
Through its Literary Awards and Fellowships program, the Lannan Foundation hopes to stimulate the creation of literature written originally in the English language and to develop a wider audience for contemporary prose and poetry. Additional foundation literary activities include grants to nonprofit organizations including small, nonprofit presses with an emphasis on works in translation, and the Lannan Writing Residency in Marfa, Texas. The foundation also produces a literary reading series, Readings & Conversations in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Applications and nominations for literary awards or fellowships will not be accepted.