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INDIANAPOLIS — For the first time, two poets have been selected as winners of the Indiana Authors Award. Purdue University professor Marianne Boruch is the winner of the $10,000 National Author prize given by the 2015 Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award. Adrian Matejka, Lilly Professor/Poet-in-Resident at Indiana University-Bloomington, has been named the Regional Author winner, earning him a $7,500 prize. The National and Regional winners, along with finalists in the Emerging Author category, will be honored at the seventh-annual Indiana Authors Award Dinner on Oct. 10, 2015, at the Central Library in Indianapolis.

“I am grateful to be invited into the company of previous Indiana Authors Award winners such as Susan Neville, Barbara Shoup, Michael Martone, Helen Frost and many others,” said Boruch. “Thanks to the late Eugene and Marilyn Glick for bringing attention to writing and reading as an art and act of courage and invention, and for honoring the ancient notion of the library — a lightning bolt and beloved storage unit for human culture.”

This annual award program recognizes Indiana authors’ contributions to the literary landscape in Indiana and across the nation. The Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award is a program of The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation and is funded through the generosity of The Glick Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation.

Award nominations were submitted from across the state in early spring. Any published writer who was born in Indiana or has lived in Indiana for at least five years was eligible. An eight-member, statewide Award Panel selected the National and Regional winners and the three Emerging Author finalists from the pool of publicly nominated authors.

  • National Author – $10,000 prize: A writer with Indiana ties, but whose work is known and read throughout the country. National authors are evaluated on their entire body of work. This award recipient will also designate a $2,500 grant for the public library of his or her choosing.

2015 winner: Marianne Boruch

  • Regional Author – $7,500 prize: A writer who is well-known and respected throughout the state of Indiana. Regional authors were evaluated on their entire body of work. This award recipient will also designate a $2,500 grant for the public library of his or her choosing.

2015 winner: Adrian Matejka

  • Emerging Author – $5,000 prize: A writer who has published no more than two books during his/her lifetime. The title(s) must have been published within the last 10 years. Emerging authors were evaluated on these specific works. The award recipient will designate a $2,500 grant for the public library of his or her choosing. The Emerging Author winner will be named at the Oct. 10 Award Dinner.

2015 finalists: Laura Bates, Skila Brown and Clifford Garstang

Funds raised by the Dinner will benefit the Library Foundation. The public is also invited to participate in the free 2015 Indy Author Fair – which will include author talks and workshops for writers and book lovers of all ages, led by faculty of the Indiana Writers Center and other special guests. For additional information about the Indiana Authors Award and festivities, visit indianaauthorsaward.org.


About The Glick Fund: The Glick Fund was established by Gene and Marilyn Glick to support a variety of causes in central Indiana. In addition to establishing the Indiana Authors Award with The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, Glick charitable funds have invested substantially in Indiana educational institutions, arts organizations, hospitals and the Pro-100 program, a leadership program for underprivileged youth. Recent grant recipients include the Indiana Historical Society Living History Center, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and the Glick Eye Institute at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

About the Library Foundation: The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation promotes patronage and secures support for the advancement of programs, services and facilities of The Indianapolis Public Library to benefit a diverse learning community. Through advocacy, fundraising and stewardship, the Library Foundation supports numerous Library initiatives to enhance patrons’ lives, including early literacy programs, homework assistance, workforce development and technologies, including a variety of online library resources. The Foundation works to support these initiatives, making educational opportunities available free of charge to all Library patrons.


Marianne Boruch’s eight poetry collections include “Cadaver, Speak” (2014) and “The Book of Hours” (2011), a Kingsley-Tufts Poetry Award winner, both from Copper Canyon Press which will publish her “Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing” in 2016. She is also the author of two essay collections, “In the Blue Pharmacy” (Trinity, 2005) and “Poetry’s Old Air” (Michigan, 1993), and a memoir, “The Glimpse Traveler” (Indiana, 2011) about hitchhiking in the early 70s. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The New York Review of Books, American Poetry Review, London Review of Books, Ploughshares, The Nation and elsewhere. Two of her poems have been chosen for Best American Poetry and four have received Pushcart Prizes.

Twice a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, Boruch also received a Guggenheim Fellowship and artist residencies at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Anderson Center (Red Wing, Minn.), Denali National Park in Alaska and at Isle Royale, our most isolated national park. Purdue University gave her its University Research and Scholarship Distinction Award (2014), the College of Liberal Arts’ Discovery Excellence Award (2013) and a 2008 Faculty Fellowship in the Study of a Secondary Area to observe dissections in the “cadaver lab” of the IU Medical School on Purdue’s campus and take a course in life drawing, the source of many poems in her recent “Cadaver, Speak.”

Boruch has received numerous English Department teaching awards and the 2007 College of Liberal Arts’ Educational Excellence Award. A 2012 Fulbright/Visiting Professor in Scotland’s University of Edinburgh, she is a Professor of English at Purdue and was the founding Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing in which she still teaches. Since 1988, she has been semi-regularly on faculty at the low-residency Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She has taught at summer conferences such as Bread Loaf and Bear River. For nearly 30 years, she and her husband, David Dunlap, have lived in West Lafayette where they raised their son.

Regional Winner

Adrian Matejka is a graduate of Pike High School in Indianapolis and Indiana University-Bloomington. He earned his MFA in creative writing at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His first collection of poems, “The Devil’s Garden,” won the 2002 New York/New England Award from Alice James Books. His second collection, “Mixology,” was a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series and was also a finalist for a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature – Poetry. His most recent book, “The Big Smoke,” was awarded the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. “The Big Smoke” was also a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, the 2014 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Lannan Foundation and currently serves as the Lilly Professor/Poet-in-Residence at Indiana University-Bloomington. For more information, visit adrianmatejka.com.

Emerging Author Finalists

Laura Bates has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in Comparative Literature, with a focus on Shakespeare studies. She is Professor of English at Indiana State University, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Shakespeare and world literature.

For more than 25 years she has also taught throughout the Indiana state prison system. She created the world’s first Shakespeare program in supermax—the long-term solitary confinement unit. Her prison work has been featured in local and national media, including two segments on MSNBC-TV’s Lock Up.

Her first book chronicled these prison experiences: “Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard” (Sourcebooks, 2013). The book received positive reviews as well as national and international recognition, from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly to National Geographic and Huffington Post. It was selected as the global Big Library Read, during which it was read by more than 100,000 readers in more than 12 countries. A Korean translation was published last year. An audio book came out in May 2015 and a film adaptation is currently under contract.

Her second book is currently in progress: “Tempest Tossed, A Five-Year Journey from Refugee to Immigrant Told Through Love Letters, 1945-1950.” The book is based on more than 100 letters written between her mother in a D.P. (displaced person) camp and her father in a POW camp, culminating in each of their separate immigration experiences and eventual reunion in America in 1950. It is a personal account that represents the experiences of millions of refugees of that period, as well as the millions of war refugees around the world today.

For more information, visit UChicago Magazine.

Skila Brown is the author of “Caminar,” a novel in verse set in 1981 Guatemala, about a boy who survives the massacre of his village and must decide what being a man during a time of war really means. Forthcoming books include the picture book “Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks” and the verse novel “To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party,” all from Candlewick Press. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She grew up in Kentucky and Tennessee, lived for a bit in Guatemala, and now resides with her family in Indiana.

For more information, visit skilabrown.com.

Clifford Garstang is the author of “What the Zhang Boys Know,” which won the 2013 Library of Virginia Award for Fiction, and the prize-winning short story collection “In an Uncharted Country.” He is the editor of an anthology, “Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet,” a finalist for the International Book Award, and Prime Number Magazine, an online quarterly. He is also the author of the popular literary blog Perpetual Folly, widely known for its annual ranking of literary magazines.

Garstang’s work has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Blackbird, Cream City Review, Los Angeles Review, Tampa Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere, and has received Distinguished Mention in the Best American Series. He won the 2006 Confluence Fiction Prize and the 2007 GSU Review Fiction Prize and has been awarded fellowships by the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.

After receiving a BA in Philosophy from Northwestern University, Garstang served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Korea. He then earned an MA in English and a JD, magna cum laude, both from Indiana University, and practiced international law in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Singapore with one of the largest law firms in the United States. Subsequently, he earned a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and worked for Harvard Law School’s Program on International Financial Systems as a legal reform consultant in Almaty, Kazakhstan. From 1996 to 2001, he was Senior Counsel for East Asia at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., where his work focused on China, Vietnam, Korea and Indonesia. In 2003 he received an MFA in fiction from Queens University of Charlotte.

For more information, visit cliffordgarstang.com.