NEA Literature Fellowships

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2018

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Headshot of a woman.

Courtesy of Jennifer Haigh

Novelist and NEA Literature Fellow

In Jennifer Haigh’s fifth novel Heat and Light, she returns to the fictional town of Bakerton, Pennsylvania: its prosperity withered with the closing of the coalmines. So when it’s learned that the area is rich in natural gas, many people are eager to sign over their mineral rights to energy companies. And the debate about fracking and all that it entails upends the community. Jennifer Haigh knows her subject well; she was raised in a former coal town that also sits on deposits of natural gas. In our conversation she talks about her hometown and how it’s become the basis for much of her writing, the pull of the past on the present and the legacy of North Appalachia’s geology.

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Photo by Justus Poehis

Poet and 2015 NEA Literature Fellow

Her poetry collection Scriptorium illuminate her Appalachian Roots.

2016

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Headshot of a woman.

Photo copyright 2014 Sharona Jacobs Photography.

Big Read author and 2006 NEA Literature Fellow

Pretty Monsters combines the ordinary and the magical—with flair.

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Headshot of a man.

 Photo: Courtesy of author

Author and NEA Literature Fellow

No one tells stories embedded in Southern Appalachia with more grit or more beauty.

NEA Translation Fellow and Author

Michael Berry reflects on the art of translating Yu Hua’s influential novel and new Big Read title To Live into English

Author and 2004 NEA Literature Fellow

Justin Cronin brings his post-apocalyptic Passage trilogy to a close with The City of Mirrors.

2015

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Felipe Herrera headshot.

Photo courtesy University of California-Riverside

U.S. Poet Laureate and NEA Literature Fellow

The new poet laureate of the United States and two-time NEA fellow calls for everyone's heart to speak out.

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Rebecca Makkai

Photo by Philippe Matsas

2014 NEA Literature Fellow

From beautifully crafted short fiction to page-turning gothic novels, Rebecca Makkai puts art at the heart of her work.

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Tayari Jones head shot.

Photo courtesy of Algonquin Press

NEA Literature Fellow

Tayari Jones: an author who loves the process of writing.

2014

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McCracken Podcast

Photo by Edward Carey

NEA Literature Fellow

Elizabeth McCracken gives us her take on the differences in writing novels, short stories, and tweets.

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