Campus: San Diego State -- February 20, 2006
SDSU Professor receives National Endowment for the
Arts Literary Fellowship Grant
San Diego (February 17, 2006) For author William Luvaas, the 10th time
was the charm when applying for the National Endowment for the Arts
Literary Fellowship grant.
Luvaas, a creative writing lecturer at San Diego State University for the
past nine years, recently received a $20,000 fellowship from the organization.
With the grant, Luvaas is taking a sabbatical this spring semester in order
to finish his forthcoming novel, "Dead Weight," and his collection of short
stories, "A Working Man's Apocrypha."
The recognition, which came in a unanimous decision by the literature panel,
comes 20 years after he first applied for the award in 1986. The grant is
awarded every other year to 50 prose writers throughout the country and is
highly competitive, receiving hundreds of applications during each application
"For a writer, nothing is more important than persistence," Luvaas said.
"You have to keep following your muse. If you keep producing strong work,
it will eventually be recognized."
Luvaas' short story collection includes the story "A Working Man's Apocrypha,"
which Luvaas submitted with his fellowship application and was originally
published in the summer 2004 issue of the Antioch Review, one of the oldest
literary magazines in the country. The story, which is loosely based on a
story told to Luvaas about a Hemet, Calif. caretaker, explores the relationship
between two fictional charactersa woman and her caretaker who is dying from
diabetes. Many of the stories in the collection take place throughout
Riverside County, where Luvaas lives, and deal with the resiliency of the
human spirit when faced with tragedy.
"A Working Man's Apocrypha" will be published in spring 2007 by the
University of Oklahoma Press. The collection will feature illustrations by
Lucinda Luvaas, Luvaas' wife and multi media artist, and will be packaged
with a DVD featuring a short film version of "A Working Man's Apocrypha,"
directed and produced by Lucinda.
On his close working relationship with his wife, Luvaas said, "I've always
told my students that if your mate is not supportive of your work, you're
Luvaas' novel "Dead Weight" chronicles how a man's one bad decision made
in a panicked moment results in the death of a neighbor. Subsequently,
other poor choices are made by the main character, ending in the breakdown
of his character and sense of self.
Other novels by Luvaas include "The Seductions of Natalie Bach," which
was published by Little, Brown and Company, and "Going Under," published
by Putnam Publishing Group. Other stories, essays and articles by Luvaas
have also appeared in The American Fiction Anthology (Vol. 9), Confrontation,
Cosmopolitan, Glimmer Train, North American Review, Pretext, Short Story,
The Sun, Thema, The Village Voice and The Washington Post Book World.
Another story by Luvaas, "The Firewood Wars," was co-winner of the Fiction
Network's Second National Fiction Competition.
Contact: Lorena Nava, (619)594-3952,