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Release: Dec. 8, 2000

UI student wins Millennium Award for creative non-fiction

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Faith Adiele, a student in the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and Nonfiction Writing Program, has won the Creative Writing Foundation's Millennium Essay Contest sponsored by the Bayer Corporation. The award carries a $2,000 prize.

The Millennium Award recognizes the writer who demonstrated the highest level of nonfiction writing in the year 2000. It was announced in "Creative Nonfiction," the literary journal from the Creative Nonfiction Foundation devoted completely to publishing nonfiction. The journal will feature Adiele's winning essay in the Spring 2001 issue.

The award was presented to Adiele for her work on an essay entitled "Lessons in Killing for the Black Buddhist Nun," a depiction of her journey through life from childhood to when she was ordained a Buddhist nun in Thailand.

Adiele says spirituality is an ongoing concern of hers and her work stems from her faith, family stories, personal travel experiences, and current social issues.

Born the daughter of a Scandinavian-American mother and a Nigerian father, Adiele grew up in Washington and was raised by her mother. Adiele received a B.A. in Southeast Asian Studies from Harvard College and an M.A. in Creative Writing from Lesley College. She spent two years as a visiting professor at Framingham State College teaching nonfiction writing and multi-cultural literature.

In 1998 Adiele enrolled in the UI Writers' Workshop and the Nonfiction Writing Program. She is currently working on two theses and plans to graduate in May 2001 with M.F.A. degrees from both programs.

Primarily a nonfiction writer, Adiele has received several other awards including the first William Espy Award for nonfiction, Rotary Foundation International Fellowship, Emerging Writer from PEN New England, and the Isak Dinesen Award from the UI Writers' Workshop. She also won the Dorthy and Granville Hicks Residence in Literature from the Yaddo Corporation in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. and was accepted to the Creative Nonfiction and Cultural Journalism Programme at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada.

During her career Adiele has published more than 22 essays and one group novel and is currently working on two books, a family memoir and a travel memoir.