Congratulations to Morgan Meis for the Whiting Award!


Happy man … and kinda rich, too.

Congratulations to Morgan Meis, a longstanding friend of the Book Haven!  He’s one of ten winners of this year’s Whiting Writing Award for “exceptional talent and promise in early career.” The prize carries a significant cash award of $50,000 – so he’s in clover…at least for awhile.  Morgan is the author of a novel, Angelus Novus (Soft Skull Press, 1995), and has written for The Believer, Harper’s, and each week for The Smart Set We know him mostly as an editor of 3quarksdaily, a filter blog treating literature, science, and the arts. He is a previous recipient of a $30,000 Andy Warhol Foundation Award for his art criticism.

This year’s winners include: fiction writers Hanna Dela Cruz Abrams (The Man Who Danced With Dolls), Jennifer DuBois (Cartwheel) C.E. Morgan (All the Living),  Stephanie Powell Watts (We Are Taking Only What We Need), and Amanda Coplin (The Orchardist);  poets Ishion Hutchinson (Far District: Poems) and Rowan Ricardo Phillips (The Ground) and playwright Virginia Grise (Making Myth). Clifford Thompson (Signifying Nothing) received the award for nonfiction, as did Morgan, who is author of this year’s Ruins (Fallen Bros. Press), a collection of the best essays from one of America’s best and most poignant, personal and philosophical young critics, Morgan Meis Ph.D, on art, culture, politics and the transitory and illusory nature of time.”

ruins-revised-edition-morgan-meis-paperback-cover-artThe Whiting prizes were established in 1985 by the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation. According to the foundation, the award honors those “who have yet to make their mark on the literary culture.’’

Previous winners include Tony Kushner, who hosted the ceremony tonight in Manhattan,  Jonathan Franzen, and Mary Karr.

Afterwards?  I hear there’s some serious partying going on at the offices of the New York Times.

Postscript on 10/22:  No surprise, 3quarksdaily has its own announcement, with a pitcha, here.  It also informs me that Elif Batuman, Mark Doty, Jeffery Eugenides, Suketu Mehta, William T. Vollman, and David Foster Wallace are former winners.  Good company.


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