Writer’s Foundry Faculty Receive Prestigious Cullman Fellowship

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – May 30, 2014 – The Writer’s Foundry at St. Joseph’s College (SJC) is pleased to announce that two members of its faculty, Justin Torres and Ayana Mathis, were each awarded a Dorothy and Lewis Cullman Fellowship by the New York Public Library for the 2014-2015 year. These fellowships, awarded to up to 15 writers per year, are awarded to exceptional writers whose work will be impacted by access to the research collections at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.

“Justin and Ayana met in a class I taught several years ago, and from the moment they walked in, they presented an appetite for work and excellence that enlivened the possibilities of literature for everyone present,” said Jackson Taylor, director of The Writer’s Foundry at SJC. “That years later they agreed to join The Writer’s Foundry as our core faculty is an astonishing circle … one that represents the power of friendship, community and trust, and how those ideals can lift and enhance a life of reading and writing. Our program is moved through inspiration by the reach of their amazing achievements and the high standards they express.”     

The Cullman Center’s Selection Committee awards up to 15 fellowships a year to outstanding scholars and writers – academics, independent scholars, journalists and creative writers. The Cullman Center looks for top-quality writing from academics as well as from creative writers and independent scholars. It aims to promote dynamic communication about literature and scholarship at the very highest level – within the Center, in public forums throughout the Library, and in the Fellows’ published work.

“The Cullman Fellowship offers unparalleled access to the NYPL's resources … the collections, of course, but also the librarians,” said Mathis. “It's a writer’s retreat and a Ph.D. program rolled into one -- not to mention the community of writers and thinkers. It's a dream come true.”

“At the Cullman Center I'll be working on my second novel, which focuses on both contemporary and historical New York,” said Torres. “I can't think of a more fitting, more useful, place to research and write the book than the New York Public Library. I can't wait for the fellowship to begin.”

The Writer's Foundry M.F.A. in Creative Writing program at the College's Brooklyn Campus stands in Clinton Hill on the border of Fort Greene, two of the most vibrant and deep-grounded neighborhoods in all of New York City. We seek to attract writers who dedicate themselves to excellence in all areas of literary life. Our basic assumption is that all acts of writing are creative, a product of imagination and thought.

About St. Joseph's College

St. Joseph's College has been dedicated to providing a diverse population of students in the New York metropolitan area with an affordable education rooted in the liberal arts tradition since 1916. Independent and coeducational, the College provides a strong academic and value-oriented education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, aiming to prepare each student for a life characterized by integrity, intellectual and spiritual values, social responsibility, and service. With campuses located in the Clinton Hill area of Brooklyn and in Patchogue, Long Island, the College offers degrees in more than 29 majors, special course offerings and certificates, affiliated and pre-professional programs.

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