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University of Iowa News Release


April 4, 2008

Three University of Iowa arts faculty members win Guggenheim Fellowships

Three University of Iowa arts faculty members have been awarded 2008 Guggenheim Fellowships: Lan Samantha Chang, director of the Iowa Writers' Workshop; Robin Hemley, director of the Nonfiction Writing Program in the English Department; and Sue Hettmansperger, a painting and drawing faculty member in the School of Art and Art History.

In addition, the roster of awardees includes several UI alumni, including poet Reginald Shepherd, fiction writer and journalist Richard Panek, and poet Michael Paul Burkard, as well as former Writers' Workshop faculty members Jack Marshall and Forrest Gander.

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation provides its prestigious fellowships to support advanced professionals in all fields (natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, creative arts) except the performing arts. Chang, Hemley and Hettmansperger were among 190 Guggenheim winners, with awards totaling $8,200,000.

Since its establishment in 1925 the Foundation has granted more than $265 million in fellowships to almost 16,500 individuals. Scores of Nobel, Pulitzer, and other prize winners are included in the roll of fellows, including Ansel Adams, W. H. Auden, Aaron Copland, Martha Graham, Langston Hughes, Henry Kissinger, Vladimir Nabokov, Isamu Noguchi, Linus Pauling, Philip Roth, Paul Samuelson, Wendy Wasserstein, Derek Walcott, James Watson and Eudora Welty.

Chang, who is also an alumna of the workshop, is the author of a collection of short fiction, "Hunger," and a novel, "Inheritance." Her work has been translated into nine languages and has been chosen twice for "The Best American Short Stories."

Chang has been honored as the California Book Award Silver Medalist, as a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and with a Bay Area Book Award, and literary awards from the Greensboro Review and the Transatlantic Review. Her work has also been nominated for the PEN Center USA West Award and the PEN/Hemingway Literature Prize.

At the UI, she was the winner of the James-Michener-Copernicus Award. She has received fellowships from Stanford University, Princeton University, the Radcliffe Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts, Yaddo and the McDowell Colony.

Before taking over as workshop director at the UI, Chang was the Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in creative writing at Harvard University. She has also taught at Warren Wilson College and Stanford University, as well as at the UI Summer Writing Festival, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Napa Valley Writers' Conference, the Sarah Lawrence Summer Writers' Conference and the Asian American Writers' Workshop.

Hemley, a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, is the author of "Invented Eden," "Turning Life Into Fiction," "Nola: A Memoir of Faith, Art and Madness," the novel "The Last Studebaker," and the short-story collections "All You Can Eat" and "The Big Ear." He co-edited the anthology "Extreme Fiction: Fabulists and Formalists," and one of his stories was recently anthologized in "Best American Fantasy."

His awards for his fiction include, the Nelson Algren Award from the Chicago Tribune, the George Garrett Award for Fiction from Willow Springs, the Governor's Award from the State of Washington, the Hugh J. Luke Award from Prairie Schooner and two Pushcart Prizes.

Hemley's work has been published in literary magazines including Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, Willow Springs, Boulevard, Witness, ACM and the North American Review. His fiction has been widely anthologized and translated, and has been heard on National Public Radio's "Selected Shorts."

He has taught at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Western Washington University, St. Lawrence University, Vermont College and the University of Utah, and he was the editor-in-chief of the Bellingham Review for five years.

Hettmansperger's exhibitions include one-person shows in 2007, 2003, 1999, 1994 and 1990 at A.I.R. Gallery New York City, where she has been an affiliate member since 1989. Other exhibition venues have included Artemisia Gallery, Chicago; the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; and numerous exhibits in galleries and museums across the country. Her work also appears in the book "New American Paintings Midwest."

Her work is in the collections of many prominent museums and institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.

She has received two Arts and Humanities Initiative Grants and the Faculty Scholar Award from the University of Iowa and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, as well as residency fellowships at Ucross Foundation, the Roswell Museum Artist in Residence Program and the MacDowell Colony.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell),; Peter Alexander, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0072,