Bard News & Events

Press Release


Darren O'Sullivan

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Nathan Englander, recipient of the first annual Bard Fiction Prize and writer-in-residence at Bard College this spring, will read from his recent work on the Bard campus on Wednesday, February 6. The Bard Fiction Prize was established in 2001 to encourage and support promising young fiction writers. Englander's first work, For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, a collection of short stories, was published by Knopf in 1999 and was hailed by the New York Times Book Review as "an extraordinary debut" and "brilliant." His reading, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 7:00 p.m. in Weis Cinema in the Bertelsmann Campus Center.

Englander was born in New York in 1970 and now divides his time between Jerusalem and New York. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, American Short Fiction, Story Magazine, and the anthologies The Art of the Story and Neurotica. He is currently working on his first novel, also to be published by Knopf. Englander studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and received a B.A. degree from Binghamton University and an M.F.A. degree from the University of Iowa. Among Englander's awards are the 2000 Pen/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction and a Pushcart Prize.

In a statement announcing Englander as the finalist for the Bard Fiction Prize, the judges, commenting on his first book, noted that "his gift for mining the extraordinary from the ordinary imbues his words with the quality of revelation…. He makes accessible an esoteric world, and the means by which he accomplishes this, in story after story, are consistently arresting and appealing."

The creation of the Bard Fiction Prize enhances Bard's long-standing reputation as a center for creative, groundbreaking literary work by both faculty and students. Bard literature faculty, past and present, represent some of the most important American writers of our time, from Saul Bellow, Mary McCarthy, Ralph Ellison, and Toni Morrison to John Ashbery, Philip Roth, William Weaver, Chinua Achebe, and Mona Simpson. The prize, which consists of a $30,000 cash award and appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College for one semester, is intended to encourage and support young writers of fiction to pursue their creative goals and to provide an opportunity to work in a fertile intellectual environment.

For more information about Englander's reading or the Bard Fiction Prize, call 845-758-7087, e-mail, or visit


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This event was last updated on 01-18-2002