The University of Arizona

UA Regents Professor Richard Shelton Receives Major Lannan Foundation Award

By Julieta Gonzalez, May 4, 2000

The Lannan Foundation of Santa Fe, New Mexico has named University of Arizona Regents Professor Richard Shelton the recipient of a major Completion Grant.

The purpose of the $100,000 award is to allow Shelton, who teaches in the English department's Creative Writing Program, to complete two books. The first is a collection of poems tentatively titled "The Golden Jubilee." The other book is a memoir of his early years growing up in Boise, Idaho.

The Lannan Foundation, one of the most important supporters of literary arts in the nation, has funded Shelton's workshops in Arizona prisons for nine years, including the publication of the "Walking Rain Review," a literary journal of writing by inmates of various Arizona State Prison facilities.

Shelton, who has taught at the UA since 1960, is the author of nine books of poetry. His poems and prose pieces have appeared in more than 200 magazines and journals, including "The New Yorker," "The Atlantic," "The Paris Review," and "The Antioch Review."

He won the International Poetry Forum's U.S. Award for his first collection of poems, The "Tattooed Desert," and has been honored with many subsequent awards, including nominations for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

"Going Back to Bisbee," Shelton's first book of nonfiction, won the 1992 Western States Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. He and his wife Lois Shelton, former director of the UA's nationally renowned Poetry Center, were honored with a Governor's Arts Award for their support of the arts in Arizona in 1991.