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UW’s Watson Receives Guggenheim Fellowship

May 11, 2011

University of Wyoming Associate Professor Brad Watson is among 180 recipients of a prestigious fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Watson, who teaches in the UW Department of English and the MFA in Creative Writing Program, is among scholars, artists and scientists in the Guggenheim's 87th annual competition. Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from nearly 3,000 applicants. Watson was selected based on his fiction writing.

Earlier this semester, Watson was a finalist for the prestigious 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, America's largest peer juried prize for fiction. Watson's collection, "Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives," is 12 stories of family strife, personal loss, physical trauma and emotional reckoning was published last year.

Also, the Boston Globe named "Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives" among the year's best fiction books.

Guggenheim Fellowships are grants for a minimum of six months and a maximum of 12. The program provides recipients with blocks of time in which they can work with as much creative freedom as possible. Grant amounts vary.

Fellowships are awarded through two annual competitions -- one for U.S. and Canadian residents and another for Latin American and Caribbean citizens. Established in 1925 by former United States Sen. and Mrs. Simon Guggenheim from Colorado, the program is in memory of their son, John Simon Guggenheim, who died in 1922.

Originally from Mississippi, Watson previously taught at the University of Alabama, Harvard University, University of California-Irvine and University of Mississippi, and has held previous fellowships through the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lannan Foundation.

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