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Home:  >News & Events   >News Archives   >2003

Writer-in-Residence Barry Hannah receives national short fiction award

Dec. 17, 2003

By Deidra Jackson
University of Mississippi News Services

Barry Hannah

OXFORD, Miss. — Author Barry Hannah, University of Mississippi’s writer-in-residence, has been honored with the PEN/Malamud Award. Given annually since 1988 in memory of the late author Bernard Malamud, the award recognizes excellence in the art of short fiction.

Hannah received the award and read from his work Friday (Dec. 12) at the PEN/Faulkner Reading Series at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

“The award is pleasing but not surprising,” said Joseph Urgo, chair of the UM Department of English. “Barry Hannah is a major figure in the world of literature. In Oxford he’s just Barry, I know, but step off into the metropolis and you realize we are hosting, again, a literary phenomenon in this hamlet.”

Hannah, who shares this year’s award with novelist Maile Meloy, directs UM’s creative writing program. He is the author of three short story collections, High Lonesome, Bats Out of Hell and Airships, and eight novels. His first novel Geronimo Rex won the William Faulkner Prize.

His other prizes and awards include the Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Robert Penn Warren Lifetime Achievement Award in fiction.

Nationally recognized artist, arts commentator and educator Bill Dunlap, who was Hannah’s classmate at Mississippi College in the mid-1960s, tags his friend as “the most extraordinary writer of muscular prose today.”

“I knew he was a great writer, but I didn’t know he is also a great teacher,” said Dunlap, commentator on WETA-TV’s Washington, D.C.-based cultural round-table show Around Town.

Hannah received a master’s of fine arts degree in fiction and a master’s in English, both from the University of Arkansas. His undergraduate degree, also in English, is from Mississippi College.

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