Charles Simic, Distinguished Poet-in-Residence at New York University’s Creative Writing Program, has won the Vilcek Prize for the Arts and Humanities in recognition of his career achievements, the Vilcek Foundation announced.
Simic, a former United States Poet Laureate and the winner of the 1990 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, receives a cash prize of $100,000 and will be honored at the Vilcek Foundation’s annual awards presentation dinner in New York City on Monday, April 4.
The foundation also announced that the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise was awarded to novelist and journalist Dinaw Mengestu, a native of Ethiopia. The Vilcek Prizes, now in their sixth year, recognize the contributions of foreign-born scientists and artists in the United States.
Simic, born in Yugoslavia, has also received the Robert Frost Medal, the Edgar Allen Poe Award, the Griffin International Poetry Prize, the PEN Translation Prize, and a MacArthur Fellowship. He has written more than 60 collections of poetry, translations, and essays. Simic, a regular contributor to publications such as The New York Review of Books, immigrated with his family to America from Yugoslavia at the age of 16. His writing often references his childhood experiences during World War II.
The Vilcek Prizes for the Arts are awarded alongside the Vilcek Prizes for Biomedical Science. For more information about all the Vilcek Prizes, go to www.vilcek.org.
The NYU Creative Writing Program, among the most distinguished programs in the country, is a leading national center for the study of writing and literature. The undergraduate and graduate programs provide students with an opportunity to develop their craft while working closely with some of the finest poets and novelists writing today. The Creative Writing Program occupies a townhouse on West 10th Street in the same Greenwich Village neighborhood where so many writers have lived and worked. The Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House allows writers--established and emerging--to share their work in an inspiring setting. For more, visit www.cwp.fas.nyu.edu.
The Vilcek Foundation aims to raise public awareness of the contributions of immigrants to the sciences, arts, and culture in the United States. The Foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia. The mission of the Foundation was inspired by the couple’s respective careers in biomedical science and art history, as well as their personal experiences and appreciation for the opportunities offered them as newcomers to the United States. In addition to awarding annual prizes in the biomedical sciences and the arts, the Vilcek Foundation showcases the work of immigrant artists, performers, and others at its headquarters at 167 East 73rd Street, New York City.