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Natania Rosenfeld, Anna Leahy, Ander Monson

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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Three Knox Writers Included in Best American Essays

January 10, 2018

Natania Rosenfeld, Anna Leahy, Ander Monson

by Tricia Duke '19

Two Knox alumni and one professor have been honored in the 2017 edition of Best American Essays, which showcases the best writing of the year.

Anna Leahy '88, Ander Monson '97, and Professor of English Natania Rosenfeld are cited in the Notable Essays and Literary Nonfiction of 2016 section of the book. This final comprehensive list of essays gathered from a wide assortment of national and regional publications shows "an awareness of craft and forecefulness of thought," as noted by series editor Robert Atwan.

These are not the first appearances in Best American Essays by the trio, who have all been recognized by the publication in the past and have won numerous awards and grants for their contributions to the literary world.

"[This recognition] further reinforces our belief in the successes of the creative writing program and the arts community at Knox, where Leahy and Monson began their writing careers, and where Professor Rosenfeld has contributed for nearly 20 years," said Monica Berlin '95, professor of English and chair of the English and creative writing programs at Knox.

Rosenfeld has been honored by Best American Essays in both 2013 and 2011. She has also received awards for her poetry and is author of a book of poetry, Wild Domestic. She is current at work on a poetry manuscript and a nonfiction, hybrid-genre book entitled Scribbling Jewesses.

Leahy's essays have been honored in Best American Essays in 2013 and 2016. Her essays have also won top prizes from publications Ninth Letter and Dogwood. Her book of poetry, Constituents of Matter, won the Wick Poetry Prize. Leahy is a professor of English at Chapman University and edits the international journal TAB: The Journal of Poetry and Poetics.

Monson's essay was one of only 26 works published in Best American Essays in 2013, and he was honored as notable in the 2016 edition. In addition to his essays and poetry, Monson has written six books and is working on another with the funds from a Guggenheim Fellowship, which he received in 2017. This $50,000 fellowship is awarded to fewer than 200 people who, according to the Guggenheim Foundation website, "have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts." Knox awarded Monson the Young Alumni Achievement Award in 2008.

Monson said that Knox grew his creative abilities with an atmosphere that he has tried to spread throughout his career. "Being part of an exciting and supportive community imprinted on me somehow, and every place I've been after that I've been trying to remake that community to help grow writers and students," he said.

Professor Berlin said that this honor is not only for the faculty and alumni to take pride in, but also the current creative writing students.

"Each of these writers has had an extraordinary year in the literary world, and we look forward to seeing what all three do next," she said. "We look forward, too, to working with newer writers who may be acknowledged by the Best American series in the future."

Work cited in The Best American Essays:

  • Anna Leahy, "Sweet Dreams are Madeof This," Dogwood, no. 15
  • Ander Monson, "Remainder," Territory, August 5
  • Natania Rosenfeld, "The Autonomous Land of Prapruninma," , Fall

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Monica Berlin '95

#"Each of these writers has had an extraordinary year in the literary world, and we look forward to seeing what all three do next. We look forward, too, to working with newer writers who may be acknowledged by the Best American series in the future.” —Monica Berlin '95, chair of English and creative writing

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Knox College

https://www.knox.edu/news/knox-essayists-recognized-in-best-american-essays-2017

Printed on Tuesday, October 16, 2018