September 8, 2014

Two Rising Writers Open the 2014-15 Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series

Two writers selected as Princeton University Lewis Center for the Arts’ Fellows will read on Wednesday, September 24 at 4:30 p.m. in the Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center. Hodder Fellow and poet Roger Reeves and Princeton Arts Fellow and fiction writer Hanna Pylväinen will begin their residencies at the Lewis Center by opening the Program in Creative Writing’s 2014-2015 Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series, which is free and open to the public.

pylvainen headshot

Photo courtesy Hanna Pylvainen

Hanna Pylväinen’s debut novel, We Sinners, was published by Henry Holt in 2012, which The Los Angeles Times called, “Remarkably funny for a book about a deeply religious family grappling with loss of faith. Pylväinen tells the story — in alternating chapters from the point of view of the parents and several of the nine children — of the Midwestern Rovaniemi family, members of a Finnish sect of Lutheranism called Laestadianism.” Pylväinen is the recipient of residencies at Djerassi, The MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, and a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. In 2012 she received the Whiting Writers’ Award and in 2013 the Balcones Fiction Prize. Her work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and Chicago Tribune. Originally from suburban Detroit, Pylväinen graduated from Mount Holyoke College and received her M.F.A. from the University of Michigan, where she was also a postgraduate Zell Fellow. She currently lives in Brooklyn where she is completing her second novel, The End of Drum Time.

As a Princeton Arts Fellow, Pylväinen will teach fiction writing workshops over the next two years and potentially take on other creative projects while in residence at the University, in addition to pursuing her own work.

Roger Reeves

Photo by Julio Jimenez

Roger Reeves‘ first book, King Me, was recently published by Copper Canyon Press, which The Los Angeles Review of Books describes as, “A book of varied tongues and urgencies. Van Gogh is here, Mike Tyson, Ernest ‘Tiny’ Davis, and in the first and last poems, someone named Roger Reeves appears. It’s a book of inhabitations and transformations; the disembodied multitudes that constitute a single body.” Reeves’ poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and Tin House. Kim Addonizio selected his poem, “Kletic of Walt Whitman,” for the Best New Poets 2009 anthology. He was awarded a 2013 NEA Fellowship, a 2013 Pushcart Prize, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship by the Poetry Foundation in 2008, two Bread Loaf Scholarships, an Alberta H. Walker Scholarship from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and two Cave Canem Fellowships. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and is currently an assistant professor of poetry at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

As a Hodder Fellow, Reeves will continue work on The Last American Minstrel, a collection of poems that appropriate minstrel songs and iconography, vernacular and folk traditions, and African-American hand jive, known as juba patting or hambone, as a means of querying and exploring American notions of pleasure and spectacle. His book will revisit both slavery and these nineteenth century forms of entertainment as a means of writing a labor history of the era via sound and lyric.

In addition to Reeves, Hodder Fellows for 2014-15 include choreographer Nora Chipaumire, visual artist Miko Veldkamp, and playwright/screenwriter Gabriel Jason Dean. Each will be featured in the Lewis Center’s 2014-15 season. Hodder Fellowships are awarded through a highly competitive process to artists who have begun to build a respected body of work, but have not yet received widespread recognition. The funding is intended to provide an opportunity for a year of “studious leisure” during which the fellows would have the time to move their work to the next level.

Pylväinen begins her two-year appointment as an Arts Fellow along with theater/performance artist Aaron Landsman. They join graphic design artist Danielle Aubert and musician/composer Jason Treuting who are beginning their second year as Princeton Arts Fellows. This fellowship program provides support for early-career artists who have demonstrated both extraordinary promise and a record of achievement in their fields with the opportunity to further their work while teaching within a liberal arts context. The Mellon Foundation awarded Princeton a $3.3 million challenge grant in September 2012 to endow and launch the program, which was matched by an anonymous alumnus. The program is also supported through the $101 million gift from the late Peter B. Lewis, a 1955 alumnus, which established the Lewis Center for the Arts.

Together, this community of eight artists engage in meaningful ways with University students and the wider regional community, fulfilling a founding goal of the Lewis Center to create a society of fellows in the arts to contribute to the cultural life of the campus.

The Lewis Center’s Program in Creative Writing annually presents the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series, which provides an opportunity for students, as well as all in the greater Princeton region, to hear and meet the best writers of contemporary poetry and fiction. All readings are free and open to the public and take place on select Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. at the Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center. Other readings scheduled in the 2014-2015 series include:

Readings of student work will also be scheduled as part of the series.

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Steve Runk
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