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UW’s Watson Receives Academy of Arts and Letters Award

March 28, 2013
UW Associate English Professor Brad Watson, who teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing Program, is the winner of a prestigious 2013 Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

University of Wyoming Associate English Professor Brad Watson has added another national honor to his list of fiction-writing awards.

Watson recently was named one of eight winners of prestigious 2013 Awards in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a group composed of 250 of America’s leading voices in the fields of art, architecture, literature and music.

“Brad is one of the country’s finest storytellers, a writer whose sentences gleam with truth and music,” says Alyson Hagy, UW English professor and acting director of the university’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. “The award from the Academy of Arts and Letters is yet another nod of recognition for one of UW’s best faculty members and teachers.”

Watson will receive his $7,500 award in May during ceremonies at the academy’s headquarters in New York City. Hagy describes the academy as the “be all and end all” of creative achievers in the United States, and notes that its members give out just a handful of awards each year.

Watson’s award “means the country’s greatest think he is great,” Hagy says.

Originally from Mississippi, Watson teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing Program at UW. He has written two collections of short stories -- “Last Days of the Dog-Men,” which in 1997 received the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the Academy of Arts and Letters, and “Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives,” which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction in 2011. His novel, “The Heaven of Mercury,” received the Southern Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction and was a finalist for the 2002 National Book Award in Fiction.

Watson previously taught at the University of Alabama, Harvard University, the University of California-Irvine and the University of Mississippi. He has held fellowships through the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lannan Foundation and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

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