as the AWF’s January Writer in Residence
December 31, 2013, Aspen, CO–The Aspen Writers’ Foundation will welcome Brad Watson, an author known for his fearless originality, as its January Writer in Residence. With a deadline approaching for his next book, the residency will provide Watson with an idyllic haven to put the finishing touches on his work.
The author of three works of fiction, Brad Watson is hailed for his funny, inventive, and lyrical prose. His first book, Last Days of the Dog-Men (1996), won the Sue Kauffman prize and his second book, The Heaven of Mercury (2002), won awards from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, the Southern Book Critics Circle, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Watson’s latest collection of stories, Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives (2010), won the MIAL prize, and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award.
A New York Times Editor’s Choice, Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives explores domestic discord in all of its forms: unruly or distant children, alienated spouses, domestic abuse, loneliness, death, and divorce – all with exquisite rawness and rare grace. Kirkus Reviews said of Watson: “[He] consistently delivers that elusive element great Southern writers have always brought to the table – a delicious sense of the unexpected.” Watson’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, among others. Originally from Meridian, Mississippi, he lives in Laramie and teaches at the University of Wyoming.
The Aspen Writers’ Foundation’s (AWF) Writer in Residence program offers writers an opportunity to spend one month in Woody Creek, CO to focus on current writing projects. The residency provides a space for authors to nourish their craft, giving them time to write, meet AWF members, and convene with other authors. A monthly reading and talk event will be held for each resident author, among other special appearances by the writer to valley schools and private AWF member functions.
The residency includes a Catch and Release community reading initiative, which provides free books in an effort to familiarize community members with the current writer in residence and to inspire a love of reading. Books are distributed to local organizations and are available to read and share.
- Monday, January 13th at 6pm–Brad Watson will give a free reading and discussion at the Woody Creek Community Center.
The Aspen Writers’ Foundation was founded in Aspen in 1976 as a cutting edge poetry conference and literary magazine. Today the Aspen Writers’ Foundation is one of the nation’s leading literary centers and a stage for the world’s most prominent authors. AWF programs employ literature as a tool for provoking thought, broadening perspectives, fostering connections, inspiring creativity, and giving voice. Since 2009, the AWF has partnered with the Aspen Institute, underscoring the highest humanistic ideals of Aspen Institute founder Walter Paepcke: to better understand human challenges by cultivating one’s inner life through the exchange of words, stories, and ideas.
The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has an international network of partners.