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Office of Communications
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January 11, 2017
Knox College will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its Program in Creative Writing in 2017 with a series of on-campus and national events. Festivities include a Visiting Writer series, alumni events across the country, and limited-edition commemorative letterpress broadsides. Internationally acclaimed authors Rita Dove, former U.S. Poet Laureate; Aleksandar Hemon, MacArthur “genius grant" recipient and author of The Lazarus Project; and Marilynne Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gilead; will participate in the celebration.
Since its creation in 1967, the Program in Creative Writing has grown in both size and prestige. Creative writing is consistently one of the top majors at the College, and creative writing faculty members are widely published and awarded in their fields of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and playwriting. Its students produce award-winning work in and out of the classroom, from holding a record number of Nick Adams Short Story Contest awards—a fiction writing contest for students at schools in the Associated Colleges of the Midwest consortium—to producing the nationally recognized Catch literary arts magazine.
The program’s alumni receive distinguished fellowships from top graduate programs, including the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and Cornell University, have been awarded American Book Awards, Emmys, and the Pulitzer Prize, and work in a breadth of fields from publishing, journalism, and advertising to law and education. Notable alumni of the program include William H. Colby '77, author of Long Goodbye: The Deaths of Nancy Cruzan; Lara Moritz '90, an Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist; and Ander Monson '97, author of Vanishing Point, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
“This 50th anniversary celebration is a testament to the importance and value of the Program in Creative Writing at Knox. Outstanding faculty, innovative students, alumni finding personal and professional success—it's all that we hope an academic program can be, and we look forward to celebrating with our students, faculty, staff, and alumni across the country," said Laura Behling, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College.
The program's celebration includes a year-long Visiting Writers series, featuring acclaimed authors and alumni. The seven-part series kicks off with Hemon in January, celebrates National Poetry Month in April with Dove, and concludes with Robinson in October. Knox alumni are featured in February, May, and September. For more information on the reading series, visit www.knox.edu/cw50.
In addition to on-campus events, a series of special alumni Knox Club events are scheduled around the country, including Chicago; Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the annual conference of the Association of Writers & Writing Program; San Francisco; St. Louis; and New York; among other cities. The anniversary will also be a highlight of the 2017 Homecoming celebrations in October. For more information on these year-long events, visit www.knoxalumni.org/CreativeWriting.
"We are thrilled that notable authors and alumni are coming to Knox to help us celebrate this milestone. We look forward to reconnecting with each of these writers and to sharing their work with our current students,” said Monica Berlin, associate director of the Program in Creative Writing, associate professor, and chair of the Department of English.
To commemorate the anniversary, the College has curated a limited-edition letterpress broadsides series in cooperation with the University of Iowa Center for the Book. The series will feature the work of visiting writers from 2017. Limited-edition broadsides featuring the work of current Knox College faculty are also being produced on campus, using a letterpress that was recently donated to the College by alumnus Harry (Hal) Keider '67. The broadsides are available for purchase at campus events or online at www.knoxalumni.org/broadsides.
"Looking back over the last 50 years, it’s astounding to see the growth in the department, as well as the amazing work of my faculty colleagues, our students, and our alumni. This anniversary celebration is as much about celebrating the future of our department as it is honoring the past. We will continue to work with our current students, explore new mediums, and nurture new voices,” adds Berlin.
Support for the 50th anniversary of the Program in Creative Writing has been provided by the Knox College Department of English, the John and Elaine Fellowes Fund, the Caxton Club, the Cultural Events Committee, the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, the Office of the President, and the Offices of Admission, Advancement, Alumni Relations, and Communications.
Outstanding faculty, innovative students, alumni finding personal and professional success—it's all that we hope an academic program can be, and we look forward to celebrating with our students, faculty, staff, and alumni across the country—Laura Behling, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College.
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