UI Center for the Book Professor Awarded 2009 MacArthur Genius Grant

Whitman Cover

Former director of the University of Iowa Center for the Book and UI adjunct professor Tim Barrett has been named a 2009 MacArthur Fellow, one of 24 recipients in the annual award. The founding director of the papermaking facilities at the University of Iowa Center for the Book, Barrett, 59, said the grant means more research into how paper was made centuries ago, further unlocking the secrets of the process. "It's hard to get research funds because I'm not in a traditional field," he said. Besides that, he said, the grant will help him pay tribute to those craftsmen who, for a variety of reasons, never wrote down how they made paper. "I'm really eager to see that they not be forgotten," he said. The award gives Barrett $500,000 over 5 years and frees him to pursue his craft and research agenda. The Center for the Book is extraordinarily proud of Barrett and congratulate him on this much deserved recognition.

Two former Iowa Writers' Workshop faculty members Heather McHugh and Debbie Eisenberg have also received MacArthur Genius grants this year. Heather McHugh composes rich verse that embraces such wordplay as puns, rhymes, and syntactical, exploring the human condition. From 1999 to 2006, she was Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Debbie Eisenberg crafts distinctive portraits of American life in tales of striking precision and moral depth. Her additional works include Transactions in a Foreign Currency (1986), Under the 82nd Airborne (1992), and All Around Atlantis (1997). Read more..

More information about the award, visit the MacArthur Foundation website. For the The New York Times article on the awards, click here.