The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) today announced its first round of funding for fiscal year 2009, and among those awarded a Creative Writing Fellowship is the newest member of the IWU English department, Professor Joanne Diaz.
Forty-two poets were chosen to receive $25,000 each. Joanne was the only poet from Illinois to receive a fellowship in poetry this first round. The poems she submitted are from a section of her manuscript-in-progress, tentatively titled Larry David on Corregidor. According to Joanne, the poems explore how we think about illness and memories of the dead. “The NEA grant will allow me to complete my work on this manuscript and, more broadly, to continue my use of long, discursive lines that explore the intersections between history, medicine, and the body.”
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established, bringing the arts to all Americans and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the NEA is the nation’s largest funder of the arts.
This is the first time that an IWU faculty member has received an NEA Fellowship, and so to Joanne, who came to us via the Graduate Program in English at Northwestern University, we offer a very enthusiastic and boisterous CONGRATULATIONS!