April 10, 2020

Lewis Center faculty members receive 2020 Guggenheim Fellowships

On April 9, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced the class of 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship winners, which includes Professor of Creative Writing Yiyun Li and Lecturer in Creative Writing Michael Dickman, past creative writing faculty members Jenny McPhee and Sigrid Nunez, and past theater faculty member and Princeton alum Branden Jacobs-Jenkins ’06.

They are among 175 artists, writers, scientists and scholars chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants to receive awards in the 96th annual competition for the United States and Canada. Princeton University Professor of History Yaacob Dweck was also awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, along with five Princeton undergraduate alumni and one graduate alumnus.

Michael Dickman is a poet whose most recent collection, Days & Days, was published in 2019. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, Field, Tin House, and elsewhere. He teaches introductory and advanced poetry workshops for Princeton’s Program in Creative Writing.

Two-time OBIE Award-winning playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is a Residency Five playwright at the Signature Theatre as well as a 2020 USA Artists Fellow. His plays Everybody and Gloria were both finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. In 2016, the Program in Theater commissioned him through the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Playwright-in-Residence Fund to develop a new adaptation of Euripides’ The Bacchae.

Writer Yiyun Li is the author of seven books including the recent novel Where Reasons End, for which she was awarded the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award and the Windham-Campbell Prize for Fiction. She teaches introductory and advanced fiction workshops, as well as special topics like the recent course “Writing from Life,” for the Program in Creative Writing.

Jenny McPhee is an author and translator whose articles, stories, and translations have been published in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Bookforum, among others. Last spring, she taught literary translation workshops in the Program in Creative Writing.

National Book Award-winning writer Sigrid Nunez is author of seven books, including the New York Times bestseller, The Friend. In past years she has taught several introductory and advanced fiction workshops for the Program in Creative Writing.

To learn more about the other Princeton faculty and alumni who were awarded fellowships this year, read the University’s feature article at

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. Fellows are chosen each year on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.

Since its establishment, the Guggenheim Foundation has granted more than $375 million in Fellowships to over 18,000 individuals.

Learn more about the current fellowship recipients and the Guggenheim Foundation at

Press Contact

Steve Runk
Director of Communications