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Gay Pierce, administrator, Creative Writing Program:
(650) 725-1208,

John Sanford, writer, News Service: (650) 736-2151, jsanford@stanford

Stegner Fellows for 2001 selected from a field of more than 1,100 applicants

Five fiction writers and five poets have been selected as the 2001 Stegner Fellows from a field of more than 1,100 applicants.

The two-year fellowship program covers tuition costs for the fellows and provides them with an $18,000-per-year stipend. This year, 1,159 people from 48 U.S. states and 22 foreign countries applied.

English Professor Eavan Boland, one of six faculty members who teach creative writing, called the fellowship program "a real credit to Stanford University."

"The hardest thing to do in any society is to buy time for young artists," Boland said. "But the future of the arts is invested in that time. Anybody can buy the product, but trying to shelter the process is both difficult and rare."

She said many of the Stegner Fellows have the beginnings of a first book, and the program provides them time to finish it.

Past Stegner Fellows include authors Larry McMurtry, Raymond Carver, Nancy Packer, Lan Samantha Chang and Scott Turow, and poets Robert Pinsky and Robert Hass.

Tobias Wolff, the Melvin and Bill Lane Professor in the Humanities at Stanford, also was a fellow.

"It's a unique program," Wolff said, adding that the 2001 fellows "represent an extraordinary variety of voices and approaches."

Fellows attend twice-weekly workshops with Stanford faculty. The fellowships begin in the fall.

The 2001 fellows in poetry:

  • Aaron Baker spent his childhood in a remote part of the Chimbu Highlands in Papua, New Guinea, where his parents were missionaries. Baker's work has been published in the Potomac Review and the Blue Moon Review, among other journals. He is currently finishing his Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Virginia.
  • Rebecca Black studied in the United Kingdom and Italy. She earned her bachelor's degree at Tulane University and is completing her Master of Fine Arts degree at Indiana University-Bloomington. She has received an Academy of American Poets Award twice, among other honors. Her poetry has appeared in the New Orleans Review and the Southern Poetry Review.
  • Peter Campion lives and teaches in Boston. His work has appeared in the Threepenny Review, Salmagundi and AGNI, among other journals. He attended Dartmouth College and earned his master's degree in creative writing from Boston University.
  • Mary Cornish is currently completing her Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing/poetry at Sarah Lawrence College. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, the Alaska Quarterly Review and Poetry Northwest.
  • Geri Doran attended Cambridge University, Vassar College and the University of Florida, where she received a Master of Fine Arts degree. She has earned several awards, including a 1998 fellowship in poetry through the Oregon Literary Fellowships program, and her poems have been published in the New England Review, TriQuarterly and the Formalist, among other publications. She lives and teaches in Portland, Ore.

The 2001 fellows in fiction:

  • Jennifer Anderson attended Wheaton College in Illinois and currently lives in Napa. She graduated from the fiction-writing program at the University of California-Davis and has published an essay in ZYZZYVA and a short story, "Things That Make Your Heart Beat Faster," in the Missouri Review.
  • Steve Elliot holds a master's degree in cinema studies from Northwestern University and has published two short stories in the Sun. His novel, Jones Inn, was published in 1998 by Boneyard Press. He is currently working on a second novel.
  • Tom Kealey studied history and English at the University of North Carolina and is completing his Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Massachusetts. His stories have been published in Wellspring and O. Henry Festival Stories; his most recent publication is the story "Groundkeeping," which appeared in Glimmer Train 2001. He lives in Belchertown, Mass.
  • Thomas McNeeley spent last summer as a J. Frank Dobie Fellow of the Texas Institute of Letters and completed a draft of his first novel. His short story, "Sheep," appeared in the Atlantic Monthly in June 1999. It has since been reprinted in two anthologies. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Emerson College in Boston. He currently lives and teaches in East Boston.
  • Felicia Ward lives in Oakland. She has served as the associate editor of Equal Means, a grassroots journal for women, and in the fall of 2000 she was awarded the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. She hopes to rework her novel-in-progress and begin a new collection of short stories.

Each year, the Stanford Creative Writing Program offers five poets and five fiction writers a Stegner Fellowship. For more information about the program, visit


By John Sanford

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