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Lewis Center for the Arts Names Hodder Fellows for 2012-13
Writers James Arthur, Yasmine El Rashidi, Melinda Moustakis, and A. Rey Pamatmat selected

The Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University has announced selection of the Mary MacKall Gwinn Hodder Fellows for the 2012-13 academic year.  Poet James Arthur, fiction writer Melinda Moustakis, non-fiction writer Yasmine El Rashidi, and playwright A. Rey Pamatmat are recipients of the award created to provide artists in the early stages of their career time to undertake significant new work.

“The Hodder Fellowships are awarded to artists during that crucial period when they have demonstrated exceptional promise, but not yet received widespread recognition,” noted Lewis Center Acting Chair Michael Cadden in making the announcement.  “We have a very strong and diverse group of artists joining us next year, and we look forward to what this opportunity for what Mrs. Hodder termed ‘studious leisure’ will enable them to accomplish.”

Hodder Fellows may be poets, playwrights, novelists, creative non-fiction writers, translators, or other artists and humanist who have shown great promise.  While many have published a first book or created other work that has contributed to their field of endeavor, the fellowship provides them time to move their work and explorations to the next level.  Artists from anywhere may apply in the fall each year for the following academic year.  Their proposals include specific work to be undertaken during the fellowship period.

James ArthurJames Arthur was born in Connecticut and grew up in Canada.  His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Poetry, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, New England Review, and Narrative.  He has received the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship, a Stegner Fellowship, a Discovery/The Nation Prize, and a residency at the Amy Clampitt House, as well as fellowships at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony.  His first book, Charms Against Lightening, will be published in November 2012 by Copper Canyon Press.  During his fellowship at Princeton, Arthur plans to work on his second book of poetry.

Yasmine El RashidiYasmine El Rashidi is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and a contributing editor to the Middle East arts and culture journal Bidoun.  Her writing has appeared in publications including The Guardian, London Review of Books, Index on Censorship, Aperture, The Wall Street Journal, and the Arabic literary journal Weghat Nazar.  A collection of her writings on the Egyptian revolution, The Battle for Egypt, was published last year (New York Review of Books/Random House).  She was born and raised in Cairo, where she currently lives. During her fellowship, El Rashidi's plans for her fellowship will be to work on a book, a generational portrait, reflective of life in Egypt over the past few decades.

Melinda MoustakisMelinda Moustakis was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, and raised in California.  Her first book, a collection of linked short stories, Bear Down, Bear North: Alaska Stories, was published by University of Georgia Press in 2011 and won the Flannery O’Connor Award in Short Fiction and the Maurice Prize.  She received her M.A. from the University of California Davis and her Ph.D. from Western Michigan University.  She was recently named a 2011 “5 Under 35” writer by the National Book Foundation.  Moustakis plans to work on her first novel during her fellowship, a full-length book that captures the Alaskan fishing community and its many complicated relationships between fishermen, fisherwomen, guides, locals, tourist, scientists, and the wilderness and wildlife.

A. Rey PamatmatA. Rey Pamatmat recently received the 2011-12 Playwright of New York Fellowship from the Lark Play Development Center.  His play, Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, began its rolling world premiere at the 2011 Humana Festival before playing at New Theater, Actors Express, Mu Performing Arts, B Street Theater, and Manbites Dog Theater in the 2011-12 season.  His plays have been produced off-off Broadway by Second Generation (Thunder Above, Deeps Below), the Vortex Theater (DEVIANT), HERE (High/Limbo/High), and Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company (Red Rover).  Samuel French will publish both Edith and Thunder Above in spring 2012.  Rey’s work has been developed nationwide at The Public Theater, Playwrights’ Horizons, the Eugene O’Neill Theater, Victory Gardens Theater, Magic Theater Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and New Dramatists.  He has received a Princess Grace Fellowship for Playwriting, a New York Foundation for the Arts Playwriting Fellowship, an Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation commission, and is a member of the Ma-Yi Theater Company Writers’ Lab.  He received his B.F.A. from New York University and his M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama.  Pamatmat hopes to explore some new, adventurous theatrical projects during his fellowship.

In addition to creating new work, Hodder Fellows engage in any number of lectures, performances and other events at the Lewis Center for the Arts, many of which will be open to the public.

Photo credits: (Moustakis) Photo by Emily Stinson; (Others) Courtesy of the artist

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