Whittier College News Release


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WHITTIER, CA (DECEMBER 12, 2006) – Distinguished poet and professor of English language and literature Tony Barnstone has another award to add to his long list of credentials: National Endowment for the Arts Fellow. 

The National Endowment for the Arts announced today that Barnstone has been awarded $20,000 to continue work on a poetry project he began more than ten years ago. 

Barnstone is one of 50 writers given the Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry. The NEA received more than 1,000 applications for the biennial fellowship. Other poets of note receiving the fellowship include Adrienne Su, Eleanor Lerman and Susan Deer Cloud.  

The fellowship will allow Barnstone to complete World in Pieces, a historical poetry project inspired by conversations, memoirs, letters, interviews and diaries of Japanese and Americans impacted by World War II. World in Pieces will be a series of poems chronicling a variety of perspectives from that time period. Rather than caricature people as villains, heroes or racists, Barnstone intends to humanize soldiers, civilians, and politicians by conveying varying perspectives on the pivotal events of the era.  

Barnstone has published numerous books including Impure and Sad Jazz: Sonnets. His latest book, Chinese Erotic Poetry, is expected to be published in 2007. He has also co-edited surveys and anthologies on Asian and Middle Eastern literature and has translated numerous poems from Chinese to English. Over the years, Barnstone has earned many accolades: the Paumarok Poetry Award, the Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry and most recently a Pushcart Prize for poetry. This is his first NEA fellowship. 

Tony Barnstone is the faculty master at Garrett House where he oversees the English language and literature department’s Creative Writing Series. The series gives authors and readers the opportunity to discuss literature and writing in an intimate setting. Maxine Hong Kingston and Frank Gaspar are among the authors who have participated.  

This is the NEA’s first round of funding for fiscal year 2007. The NEA will grant more than $19 million to artists and nonprofit arts organizations. The NEA is the nation’s largest patron of the arts. It was established by Congress in 1965.  

Founded by Quakers in 1887, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering a traditional liberal arts program integrated with both professional and pre-professional courses of study. With an emphasis on diversity, community, and curricular innovation, the College’s primary mission is to endow students with the education, skills, and values appropriate for global leadership and service.  

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