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April Showers IU Faculty With Guggenheims, Pulitzer

A neuroscientist, a literary scholar, and a poet at Indiana University have received Guggenheim Fellowships; the latter has been tapped Pulitzer finalist.

  • HILLARY DEMMON/IU COMMUNICATIONS  --  George Hutchinson Nov. 27.

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    Photo: Hillary Demmon, courtesy of Indiana University

    George Hutchinson

  • Olaf Sporns

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    Photo: courtesy Indiana University

    Olaf Sporns

  • Maurice Manning

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    Photo: courtesy of Indiana University

    Maurice Walker Manning

Three faculty members at Indiana University’s College of Arts and Sciences have been named 2011 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship recipients. American literature professor George Hutchinson, poet Maurice Walker Manning and neuroscientist Olaf Sporns are three of the 180 scholars, artists, and scientists selected earlier this month from nearly 3000 applicants in the United States and Canada .

The Guggenheim Foundation awards the fellowships “to assist research and artistic creation,” recognizing individuals on the basis of “prior achievement and exceptional promise.”

The Fellows

Booth Tarkington Professor of Literary Studies and adjunct professor of both American Studies and African American and African Diaspora Studies, George Hutchinson has specialized in American literary history of the 1940s.

Olaf Sporns, Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, was awarded the Guggenheim to work on a project creating a complete map of the connections of the human brain.

Associate Professor of English and Assistant Director of Creative Writing, Maurice Manning will use the Guggenheim funding to finance a year-long sabbatical to work on his fifth book of poetry, tentatively titled The Gone and the Going Away.

‘To Imagine Recreation’

The Kentucky native described the characters who populate his new poems as “my imagined versions of old-timers and local characters who have a knowledge of their rootedness in a place, in particular, in the natural world.”

Growing up in Danville, Kentucky during the 1970s, Manning “knew that something had happened in my family that severed something vital.  It was that my parents’ parents, who were born on farms, had to leave them, to participate in a money-based economy.  I’ve always felt it was my obligation to repair that in some way.  So, rather than lamenting the loss of that older world, I want to imagine its recreation.”

In addition to the Guggenheim fellowship, Manning learned this April that he was named one of two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for his fourth book of poetry, The Common Man. A winner and two finalists are chosen in the poetry genre each year.

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Yaël Ksander

WFIU's Arts Desk Editor, Yaël seeks out and shepherds the stories of artists, musicians, writers, and other creative people. In addition, Yaël co-hosts A Moment of Science, writes essays for A Moment of Indiana History, produces Speak Your Mind (WFIU's guest editorial segment), hosts music and news hours throughout the week, and lends her voice to everything from accounting courses to nature documentaries. Yaël holds a MFA in painting from Indiana University, an MA in art history from Columbia University, and a BA from the University of Virginia, where she studied languages and literature.

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