National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced on Dec. 10 that The Iowa Review, the literary magazine at the University of Iowa, is one of 895 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The Iowa Review is recommended for a $15,000 grant to support the publication of creative writing by U.S. military veterans.
The funding will allow The Iowa Review to expand the reach of its Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans, a contest sponsored by the family of Vietnam War veteran and antiwar writer and activist Jeff Sharlet. NEA funding will be used to publicize the contest among possible entrants, to allow for an expanded number of prizes to be awarded, and to distribute the work of the winners widely, both in print and on a website gallery.
The Iowa Review held its first veterans’ writing contest in 2012, with winners published in its spring 2013 issue. The next contest deadline will be May 15, 2014. Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead, will be the final judge. The contest is open to U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel writing in any genre and about any subject matter.
Acting Chairman Shigekawa says, "The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States. Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement, or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable experiences for the public to engage with the arts."
“With involvement in wars such a major part of our story as Americans, and most recently with our country having been at war continuously for the past 12 years, there are veterans from previous and current conflicts who have returned and are wanting to share and process their experiences,” says Lynne Nugent, managing editor of The Iowa Review. “We believe the contribution of a literary magazine can be to provide a point of connection between those who want to explore their experience through the creative use of language and those who want to learn about it and understand it in the deep way that literature can provide.”
Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence: public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancing the livability of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,528 eligible Art Works applications, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 895 are recommended for grants for a total of $23.4 million. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, visit the NEA website.
The Iowa Review is based in the Department of English, in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. It publishes three print issues per year featuring poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction. More information about The Iowa Review, including how to subscribe, purchase individual issues, or find the current issue in a bookstore, can be found at its website.