University News

WIU Professor Receives $7,000 Illinois Arts Council Grant

May 6, 2002

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University English professor John Mann is among 54 individuals statewide to receive a $7,000 Artist Fellowship Award from the Illinois Art Council (ICA).

The ICA competitive awards, reviewed by panels of national judges, are granted solely on the merit of activity within seven categories: choreography, interdisciplinary/performance art, media arts, music composition, photography, poetry and prose.

Mann is one of eight poets to receive the 2002 award and the second WIU English professor to do so in consecutive years. Last year Tama Baldwin was an IAC award winner.

His manuscript of 15 poems which earned the award was mostly created during his Fall 2001 sabbatical leave, Mann said.

"This particular series is a new project for me, which I call ‘voice' poems," he added. "They all contain a created character, named ‘Mr. Mann,' who is kind of on the edge of things. He's not me, but he says things I can't say."

Three of the voice poems have been accepted for publication in national magazines.

Mann has earned numerous awards since he began teaching at Western in 1971, including earning a Presidential Merit Award (1980); being named the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher (1995); receiving a WIU Foundation Summer Stipend (1991) to conduct research in Alaska for his work "Prince William Sound: A Book of Poems;" and receiving a WIU Foundation Summer Stipend (2001) to work on the new voice poems.

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