Department of English Awards 2022-2023

Faculty, student, and alum accomplishments this year
Three people holding maroon rectangle objects
From left, Lecturer Melissa Licht, Executive Accountant Brent Latchaw, and Senior Lecturer Eric Daigre

College of Liberal Arts Awards were given to three Department of English staff and instructors at a luncheon last week (above): the Career Readiness Teaching Award to Lecturer Melissa Licht, Outstanding Service Award to Executive Accounts Specialist Brent Latchaw, and Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award to Senior Lecturer Eric Daigre, an inaugural honor recognizing outstanding non-tenure-track instructors. Daigre was also awarded a CLA Community-Engaged Learning Grant for ENGL 3506: "Social Movements & Community Education." Congratulations to all!

Faculty awards and accomplishments

Assistant Professor Aamina Ahmad won two 2023 awards for her debut The Return of Faraz Ali (Riverhead): Best First Novel from the Writers Guild of Great Britain and the LA Times Book Prizes' Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction.

Professor Peter Campion edited the poetry anthology The Experiment Will Not Be Bound (Unbound Edition Press).

Associate Professor V. V. Ganeshananthan published her second novel Brotherless Night (Random House), which was reviewed on the cover of the New York Times Book Review. She received a College of Liberal Arts Mid-Career Faculty Research Award for 2023-24.

Assistant Professor Megan Giddings published her second novel, The Women Could Fly (Amistad). She was awarded a 2023-2025 McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, meant to advance the careers of assistant professors at the U.

Associate Professor Brian Goldberg received a 2022-23 Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, the top award at the U for undergrad teaching.

Professor Emeritus Ray Gonzalez published his 16th poetry collection, Suggest Paradise (University of New Mexico Press). He also published The Book of Whispers, an online prose poem chapbook.

Professor Douglas Kearney published a book of essays, Optic Subwoof (Wave).

Professor Josephine Lee published Oriental, Black, and White: The Formation of Racial Habits in American Theater (University of North Carolina Press); she also edited the new anthology Milestones in Asian American Theatre (Routledge).

Professor Katherine Scheil co-edited Anne-thology: Poems in Honor of Anne Shakespeare (Broken Sleep Press), which includes 67 commissioned poems.

Edelstein-Keller Writer in Residence Kao Kalia Yang was selected as a 2023 Guggenheim Fellow. Her picture book From the Tops of the Trees (Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing Group) won the 2023 Asian/Pacific American Literature Award from the American Library Association Yang wrote the libretto for the opera The Song Poet (adapted from her memoir), which sold out its world premiere MN Opera performances. She also received a 2023 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers/Loft Awards in Creative Prose.

Student awards and accomplishments

MFA student Nen G. Ramirez published the poetry chapbook All Women Are Born Wailing (Nomadic).

MFA student Chaun Webster published a second poetry collection, Wail Song: or wading in the water at the end of the world (Black Ocean).

PhD candidate Andrew Hamilton and MFA student Olivia Fantini won 2022-23 English Awards for Graduate Teaching Excellence, which recognizes innovative pedagogy and commitment to student learning.

For the third year in a row, The Tower undergraduate literary magazine, produced through a two-semester English class, was awarded a Gold Crown from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. It also won a Pacemaker Award from Associated Collegiate Press.

English major Keng Xiong won a President's Student Leadership & Service Award, a University-wide honor recognizing students for exceptional leadership and service.

The Creative Writing Program announced the winners of the inaugural Walter Nathan Prize for Undergraduate Creative Writers: The $1,000 prizes are awarded to undergraduates minoring in creative writing whose work shows exceptional literary promise. Mikayla Hegrenes won for “The Next Girl” (nonfiction); Stella Mehlhoff for “Where Did All the Waiting People Go?” (fiction); and Keng Xiong for "Rain in Eastside St. Paul" (poetry).

Selected alum awards and accomplishments

MFA alum Isaac Butler's The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act (Bloomsbury) won the 2023 National Book Critics Circle Award.

MFA alum Kathleen Glasgow reached number one on the New York Times young adult paperback bestseller list with her novel Girl in Pieces. As of May 2023, the book had been on the bestseller list more than 18 months straight.

MFA Edward McPherson was selected as a 2023 Guggenheim Fellow. He is the author of The History of the Future (Coffee House).

MFA alum Michael Walsh, English's Associate Director for Curriculum and Instruction, is a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award as the editor of the 2022 anthology Queer Nature: A Poetry Anthology (Autumn House).

Share on: