Butler Tabs “Tarkington Writer in Residence”
I thought I had mentioned this once before, and am terribly embarrassed to find I have not!
Last September, Indiana’s Butler University announced that the “Tarkington Writer-in-Residence for 2010-2011 is Michael Dahlie, author of A Gentleman’s Guide to Graceful Living, and winner of the 2009 PEN/Hemingway Award for best first novel.”
So some explanations are probably in order. First, Butler University is connected to Booth Tarkington through family ties, his mother being of the same Butlers that endowed Butler University.
Second, Butler’s website explains the deal with “writers in residence”:
In 2010, Butler was “pleased to announce the inauguration of the Booth Tarkington Writer-in-Residence, a program designed to bring exciting emerging writers to the program as guest faculty.” I can’t find any information as to how this new position has been endowed, but apparently the MFA program of which the endowment is a part is relatively recent development, having been established only in 2008. But in an unrelated interview, faculty member Robert Stapleton mentions that, “for this position, we’re creating an office with Tarkington’s actual desk.” And in November, the University received a $1 million gift to establish a new “Center for Creative Writing” to house and nurture writers and students in the MFA program.
Here’s some of what Butler’s press release concerning Dahlie’s appointment had to say:
Also in November, Butler University announced that Dahlie also won a 50,000 prize, the Whiting Writers Award. He will be concluding his inaugural appointment as Tarkington Writer-in-Residence at the end of this academic year.
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