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UCR Poet Wins Guggenheim Fellowship

UCR Poet Wins Guggenheim Fellowship

Matthew Zapruder is one of 180 scholars nationwide to receive the prestigious award.

(April 7, 2011)

Matthew ZapruderEnlarge

Matthew Zapruder

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Matthew Zapruder, an award-winning poet and adjunct assistant professor in creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, has been named a fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Zapruder, an original core faculty member in the low residency M.F.A. program at UCR’s Palm Desert Graduate Center, is one of 12 University of California scholars and one of 180 nationwide to receive the prestigious fellowship. The fellows were chosen from a group of nearly 3,000 applicants, the Guggenheim foundation said in announcing the awards today, and were appointed on the basis of “prior achievement and exceptional promise.”

“It's a great honor and privilege to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship,” Zapruder said. “The confidence of the foundation in my work, while humbling, is also a wonderful encouragement to me to continue to write the best poetry I possibly can.”

Zapruder has been instrumental in helping turn the Palm Desert Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts into one with a national reputation in just three years, said Tod Goldberg, administrative director of the low residency program.

“Matthew Zapruder is not only one of the most vital voices in American poetry, he is also one of its greatest teachers,” Goldberg said. “He is a relentless and passionate believer in the power of words and I am always struck by his ability to turn the common place things of the world – be it a bicycle or an old football jersey, or even an airport – into the stuff of emotion, conflict, empathy and surprising humor.”

He is the author of three collections of poetry – “American Linden,” “The Pajamaist” and “Come On All You Ghosts” (Copper Canyon, 2010) – and co-translator from Romanian, along with historian Radu Ioanid, of “Secret Weapon: Selected Late Poems of Eugen Jebeleanu.”

His poems, essays and translations have appeared in many publications, including Open City, Bomb, Harvard Review, Paris Review, The New Republic, The Boston Review, The New Yorker, McSweeney's, The Believer and The Los Angeles Times. His work has appeared in many anthologies, including “Third Rail: The Poetry of Rock and Roll,” “Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century,” “Seriously Funny: Poems about Love, Death, Religion, Art, Politics, Sex, and Everything,” and “Best American Poetry 2009.”

Zapruder received a William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, a May Sarton Award from the Academy of American Arts and Sciences, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. His first book, “American Linden,” won the Tupelo Press Editor’s Prize. He also is an editor for Wave Books.



The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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