Phil Klay, Aaron Landsman, Fiona Maazel, Claudia Rankine, and Stacy Wolf honored
Five current Princeton University Lewis Center for the Arts faculty members have received 2017 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowships. The awardees are fiction writer Phil Klay, a 2015–16 Princeton Hodder Fellow and current Lecturer in Creative Writing; theater artist Aaron Landsman, a 2014-16 Princeton Arts Fellow, current Visiting Associate Professor, and recent Belknap Visiting Fellow in the Humanities Council; fiction writer Fiona Maazel, Lecturer in Creative Writing; poet Claudia Rankine, Princeton’s 2017 Holmes National Poetry Prize awardee and Visiting Professor of Creative Writing; and theater scholar Stacy Wolf, Professor of Theater, Director of the Program in Music Theater, and Director of Princeton Arts Fellowships.
They are among 173 artists, scientists and scholars chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants to receive awards in the 93rd annual competition for the United States and Canada. Three other faculty members from Princeton were also awarded Guggenheim Fellowships.
Established by Senator Simon Guggenheim and his wife as a memorial for their late son, the Guggenheim Fellowships provide grants so that the recipients may focus on either their scholarship or artistic freedom for a period ranging from six to twelve months. Other Princeton University awardees for the 2017 Guggenheim Fellowships include Mark Beissinger, the Henry W. Putnam Professor of Politics; B. Andrei Bernevig, Professor of Physics; and Linda Colley, the Shelby M.C. Davis 1958 Professor of History.
Phil Klay is a graduate of Dartmouth College and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in Iraq’s Anbar Province from January 2007 to February 2008 as a Public Affairs Officer. After being discharged he went to Hunter College and received an M.F.A. in creative writing. His story “Redeployment” was originally published in Granta and is included in Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Granta, Tin House, and elsewhere. In 2014 Klay’s short story collection, Redeployment, was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor Prize and won the National Book Award for Fiction. He was also named a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree. He is currently working on a novel about the U.S. involvement in Colombia.
Aaron Landsman makes live performances involving people, space, time and language. Based in New York City, his projects range from monologues and stage plays to participatory and conceptual works presented in places where people perform their lives: offices, homes, meeting rooms and buses. Recent works include: Empathy School, a performance created with filmmaker and composer Brent Green, commissioned by Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center and presented on a night bus ride through a country road; Appointment, a suite of works for a single viewer and a single performer in offices; City Council Meeting, a participatory, community-engaged work presented in five U.S. cities, funded by New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Pilot, National Performance Network, Multi-Arts Production Fund, and Jerome Foundation; and Running Away From The One With The Knife, a new play about suicide and religious faith commissioned by New York’s State Council on the Arts and presented at The Chocolate Factory. His earlier work was commissioned and produced by The Foundry Theater and PS 122 in New York, and DiverseWorks and Project Row Houses in Houston. His regular collaborators include director Mallory Catlett and designer Jim Findlay. Landsman recently finished a 2014-2016 Princeton Arts Fellowship, a three-year residency at Arizona State University Gammage in Tempe, and a residency at Abrons Arts Center. Upcoming work includes Perfect City, a collaboration with Lower East Side young adults commissioned by Crossing The Line, and the multimedia work SQUARES with photographer Paul Shambroom. He performed from 2004-2015 with Elevator Repair Service and has appeared in the work of many artists, including Richard Maxwell, Tory Vazquez, Andrea Kleine and Julia Jarcho.
Fiona Maazel is the author of three novels: Last Last Chance (2008), Woke Up Lonely (2013), and A Little More Human (2017). Last Last Chance was a Time Out New York “Best Book of the Year.” Woke Up Lonely was a finalist for the Believer Book Award. She is winner of the Bard Prize for Fiction and a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2017, Book Forum, Conjunctions, Harper’s, Ploughshares, Tin House, The New York Times, and elsewhere. Maazel lives in Brooklyn, NY, and is currently at work on a novel about the 2008 financial meltdown.
Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; two plays including Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; numerous video collaborations, and is the editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. For Citizen, Rankine won the Forward Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry (Citizen was also nominated in the criticism category, making it the first book in the award’s history to be a double nominee), the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the PEN Open Book Award, and the NAACP Image Award. A finalist for the National Book Award, Citizen also holds the distinction of being the only poetry book to be a New York Times bestseller in the nonfiction category. Among her numerous awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, United States Artists, and the National Endowment of the Arts. She also teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry.
Stacy Wolf teaches courses in American musical theater history, dramaturgy and dramatic literature, histories of U.S. performance, performance theory, and performance studies. She is the author of Changed for Good: A Feminist History of the Broadway Musical (recently named one of the “top ten books every theater lover should read” by Marissa Friedman); A Problem Like Maria: Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical; and the co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of the American Musical. She is currently working on Beyond Broadway: Four Seasons of Amateur Musical Theatre in the U.S., which examines amateur musical theater at high schools, summer camps, community centers, and afterschool programs across the country.
Fellows are chosen each year on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise. In announcing the Fellows, Guggenheim President Edward Hirsch noted, “It’s exciting to name 173 new Guggenheim Fellows. These artists and writers, scholars and scientists, represent the best of the best. Each year since 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has bet everything on the individual, and we’re thrilled to continue to do so with this wonderfully talented and diverse group. It’s an honor to be able to support these individuals to do the work they were meant to do.”
Since its establishment, the Guggenheim Foundation has granted more than $350 million in Fellowships to over 18,000 individuals.