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Posted 04.12.06
 
 
   

MU Professor Earns Guggenheim Fellowship

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Scott Cairns, English professor in the College of Arts and Science at the University of Missouri-Columbia, recently was awarded one of the 2006 Guggenheim Fellowship Awards.

Scott Cairns, Richard Schwartz.Cairns was among 187 artists, scholars and scientists selected from almost 3,000 applicants for awards totaling $7.5 million. Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishments. In addition, the Guggenheim Fellowship program encompasses a wide range of interests; it chooses its fellows from more than 78 different fields from natural sciences to creative arts.

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The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation was established in 1925 by United States Senator Simon Guggenheim and his wife as a memorial to a son who died April 26, 1922. The Foundation offers Fellowships to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions and irrespective of race, color, or creed.

"The fellowship will enable me to engage more fully with the monastic culture and mysticism of Mount Athos of Greece," Cairns said. "A previous research leave from the MU Research Council led to my writing the prose memoir about my time there. The Guggenheim Fellowship will, I trust, lead to a new collection of poems arising from further visits to what the monks call the Holy Mountain."

In addition, Cairns recently was appointed director for the Center for the Literary Arts and will succeed Sherod Santos, professor of English, for the position. He also will direct the Department of English's program in creative writing.

"Scott's receipt of a Guggenheim is a splendid accomplishment, the third received by a member of the Creative Writing faculty," said Richard Schwartz, dean of the College of Arts and Science. "The competition for Guggenheims is keen in the extreme. The daunting ratio between applicants and recipients actually understates the reality, since this is the most coveted of awards and individuals propose their strongest possible research/creative endeavors for the competition, knowing that all others are doing the same. Scott is an exceptional poet and it is wonderful to see him receive this distinguished award."

Cairns came to MU in 1999. He is a distinguished poet whose works have appeared in such venues as The New Republic, The Paris Review, and The Atlantic Monthly. He also has produced six volumes of poetry and a forthcoming spiritual memoir from HarperSanFrancisco.

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