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Reading on February 11, by Salvador Plascencia, Winner of the 2008 Bard Fiction Prize

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Salvador Plascencia, recipient of the 2008 Bard Fiction Prize for his first novel, The People of Paper (McSweeney’s, 2005), will read from his recent work on Monday, February 11. Free and open to the public, the presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Weis Cinema of the Bertelsmann Campus Center. Plascencia is writer in residence at Bard College for the spring 2008 semester, where he will continue his writing and meet informally with students.

The Bard Fiction Prize committee writes, “Sal Plascencia’s debut novel, The People of Paper, is a novel of exceptional inventiveness and beauty, in which formal innovation lives side by side with extraordinary storytelling, enhancing rather than replacing emotional intensity. The categories of magic realism, postmodernism, or urban fabulism, while applicable, are utterly inadequate to describe this metafictional marvel, which takes us from Vatican City to Hollywood to Guadalajara and yet transcends time and place.”

Plascencia is a native of El Monte, California. He received a B.A. from Whittier College and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Syracuse University. He was an assistant lecturer at the University of Southern California, The People of Paper has been translated into over half a dozen languages. Plascencia’s short stories and reviews have also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Tin House, and McSweeney’s.

The Bard Fiction Prize, established in 2001 by Bard College to encourage and support promising young fiction writers, consists of a $30,000 cash award and appointment as writer in residence at the College for one semester. The prize is intended to encourage and support young writers of fiction to pursue their creative goals and provide an opportunity to work in a fertile and intellectual environment. Last year’s Bard Fiction Prize was awarded to Peter Orner for his first novel, set in Namibia, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo (Little, Brown and Company, 2006).

For more information, call 845-758-7087, e-mail, or visit


The Bard Fiction Prize is awarded to a promising, emerging writer who is an American citizen aged 39 years or younger at the time of application. In addition to the monetary award, the winner receives an appointment as writer in residence at Bard College for one semester, without the expectation that he or she teach traditional courses. The recipient gives at least one public lecture and meets informally with students. To apply, candidates should write a cover letter explaining the project they plan to work on while at Bard and submit a C.V., along with three copies of the published book they feel best represents their work. No manuscripts will be accepted. Applications for the 2009 prize must be received by July 15, 2008. For information about the Bard Fiction Prize, call 845-758-7087, send an e-mail to, or visit Applicants may also request information by writing to the Bard Fiction Prize, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000.

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This event was last updated on 02-12-2008