Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Dybek to be Honored at Public Reception

Award-winning author Stuart Dybek will be honored at a festive public reception, with special refreshments and live music, on Friday, November 16, from 6:30-8:00 pm, at the Kalamazoo Public Library, 315 S. Rose St. The libraries of Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and Davenport College, Portage District Library, Kalamazoo Public Library, and the Kalamazoo Gazette invite the entire community to celebrate Mr. Dybek’s amazing achievement in receiving both a 2007 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and the 2007 Rea Award for the Short Story in the same week earlier this fall. KPL Director Ann Rohrbaugh will welcome guests to the reception shortly before 7:00 pm. Portage District Library and Western Michigan University representatives will also talk briefly. Mr. Dybek will then read from his work, answer questions from the audience, and sign his books. The Michigan News Agency will sell his books at the event. The MacArthur Foundation bestows the five-year grant of $500,000, paid in quarterly installments, “to individuals who show exceptional creativity in their work and the prospect for still more in the future.” The Foundation’s website proclaims Dybek to be a “short story writer paying tribute to the literature and iconography of the Old World while exploring the imaginations of contemporary American communities.” The day after receiving the MacArthur “genius grant,” Dybek was selected winner of the 2007 Rea Award for the Short Story with an accompanying $30,000 prize. “Sponsored by the Dungannon Foundation, The Rea Award for the Short Story was established in 1986 by the late Michael M. Rea to encourage short story writing by honoring a living American or Canadian writer who has made a ‘significant contribution to the short story form’.” A native of Chicago, Dybeck served Western Michigan University as a professor of English for 33 years, retiring from active teaching this past spring. According to a WMU News release, he “remains closely connected to WMU as an adjunct faculty member, and he teaches in the university's renowned Prague Summer Program.” Dybek is now teaching at Northwestern University, as its first Distinguished Writer in Residence.

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