Hunter MFA Professor Meena Alexander Wins Guggenheim Fellowship

Distinguished Professor of English Meena Alexander, an award-winning poet and novelist who teaches in the MFA program at Hunter, has been named a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow.

Alexander — whose most recent book of poetry, Quickly Changing River, was published in January -says she will use the prestigious award to write a new book of poems retracing her journeys as a child when she traveled by steamer across the Indian Ocean from her native India to Sudan.

“I am thrilled to bits to have won a Guggenheim,” Alexander said. “I have a whole book of poetry coiled inside, waiting to be written, and now I feel I can give it a real shot. My project is a book of poems retracing the map of my migrant life, overlaying the travels I went through as a child. Now from New York I will make these journeys in life and in art.”

Also awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship was Hunter adjunct Vicky Shick, a New York City choreographer who has taught in the College’s Dance Program for the past eight years.

As a Guggenheim Fellow, she will pursue a new dance project she is very excited about. “I will be working with dancers from New York and Budapest, setting a piece in both cities in January and March 2009,” Shick said. “I am extraordinarily lucky to have been awarded this Guggenheim Fellowship, which will support this project and allow me to work here in New York City and in my hometown, Budapest.”

The Guggenheim fellowships are awarded each year to a select group of artists, scientists and scholars who have exceptional records of past achievement and also show extraordinary promise for future great accomplishments with their work.