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Assistant Professor of Written Arts Jenny Xie’s newest poetry collection, The Rupture Tense, evokes the spoken and unspoken, seen and unseen experiences of China’s Cultural Revolution as its painful legacy is passed through the generations. “In the book, the poet not only peeks at her family’s past and their country’s history, but also explores the subversive power to be found in examining what has been concealed or overlooked: Li’s long-hidden archive, the older generations’ silence about the past, and the unexamined trauma that goes on shaping how family members relate to one another,” writes Han Zhang for the New York Times.
The Division of Languages and Literature is pleased to announce the tenured appointment of Dawn Lundy Martin to the faculty of Bard College as Distinguished Writer in Residence in the Written Arts Program at the rank of full professor. Her appointment begins in the spring 2023 semester. Dawn Lundy Martin is an American poet, essayist, and memoirist. She is the author of four books of poems: Good Stock Strange Blood, winner of the 2019 Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry; Life in a Box is a Pretty Life, which won the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry; DISCIPLINE; A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering; and three limited edition chapbooks. Her nonfiction can be found in n+1, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Believer, and Best American Essays 2019 and 2021. Martin is also co-editor (with Erica Hunt) of Letters to the Future: BLACK Women / Radical WRITING. Laceration: Poems is forthcoming from Nightboat Books. When a Person Goes Missing: A Family Memoir is forthcoming from Pantheon Books. She is the recipient of a 2016 Investing in Professional Artists Grant from the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Endowments, a 2016 poetry grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts, a 2018 NEA grant in nonfiction, and a 2022 United States Artist Fellowship. In 2016 Martin cofounded the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics at the University of Pittsburgh. Twenty-five years ago, she cofounded the Third Wave Fund, which resources youth-led intersectional gender justice movements for BIPOC young people. Martin has been teaching at Bard since 2018.
As the world watches the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant suffer “weeks of shelling,” the potential for “another nuclear disaster on the scale of the Chernobyl explosion” looms large, writes Bard alum C Mandler ’19 for CBS news. The similarities between Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia are as much organizational as they are structural, says Jonathan Becker, executive vice president and vice president for academic affairs for Bard College. Both share “an environment… in which people are disincentivized from communicating genuine problems to higher-ups,” Becker says, which could result in a “series of mistakes, which are reinforced by a system which doesn't encourage transparent communication.” A nuclear disaster in Ukraine would be catastrophic on “both human and geopolitical” levels, Becker says. Should a nuclear disaster occur, “it will be difficult to imagine the path forward after that,” he said.
Charles Ranlett Flint Professor of Humanities at Bard College Daniel Mendelsohn has won the 2022 Malaparte Prize, Italy’s highest honor for foreign writers and one of the country’s most prestigious literary awards. Mendelsohn won the prize for his body of work in literary criticism, translation, and narrative nonfiction. He will receive the prize at an awards ceremony held on the island of Capri at the beginning of October.
“It is thrilling and somewhat daunting to be in the company of such writers as Susan Sontag and Saul Bellow as a recipient of this prize,” Mendelsohn said, on learning of the prize. “And, as a person who has devoted his life to the study of European civilization, I am particularly moved to have my work so warmly appreciated in Italy, a country whose culture I, as a classics scholar, particularly revere.”
In its citation, the Malaparte jury singled out the themes of exile, displacement, and memory in Mendelsohn’s three major memoirs, especially The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, an investigation into the deaths of six relatives who perished during the Holocaust in what is now Ukraine. “The choice of Mendelsohn may seem like a tribute to current events and to Ukraine,” says Gabriella Buontempo of the 2022 Malaparte Prize decision. “In truth, at the time we decided it, the Russian aggression did not start. But when literature is really well addressed, almost naturally its themes turn out to be current.”
Named for Curzio Malaparte, an Italian journalist and short story writer who died in 1957, the Malaparte Prize has been awarded to Saul Bellow, Susan Sontag, Nadine Gordimer, Donna Tartt, and Vaclav Havel, among others. The jury of this year’s award included: Leonardo Colombati, Giordano Bruno Guerri, Giuseppe Merlino, Silvio Perrella, Emanuele Trevi and Marina Valensise.
Daniel Mendelsohn, Charles Ranlett Flint Professor of Humanities, is an internationally bestselling author, critic, essayist, and translator. Born in New York City in 1960, he received degrees in Classics from the University of Virginia (MA) and Princeton (PhD). Aside from The Lost, which won the National Books Critics Circle Award and the National Jewish Book Award in the United States and the Prix Médicis in France, Mendelsohn’s books include: An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic (2017), named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Newsday, Library Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, and Kirkus; The Elusive Embrace (1999), a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year; three collections of essays; a scholarly study of Greek tragedy, Gender and the City in Euripides’ Political Plays (2002), and a two-volume translation of the poetry of C. P. Cavafy (2009), which included the first English translation of the poet’s “Unfinished Poems.” His tenth and most recent book, Three Rings: A Tale of Exile, Narrative, and Fate, was published in September 2020, and he has just completed a translation of Homer’s Odyssey, to be published by University of Chicago Press in 2024.
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