Four creative writing students win Fresno State scholarships

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Four creative writing students win Fresno State scholarships

Four students of creative writing at California State University, Fresno will be honored at a special program and reading at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, in the Alice Peters Auditorium in the University Business Center.

Three graduate students and one undergraduate will receive awards and scholarships at the annual New Students Reading sponsored by the Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing program. The event is free and open to the public.

Fourteen entering MFA students each will read short excerpts from their poetry or prose. A reception in their honor will follow. Awards to be presented are:

The Philip Levine Scholarship in poetry writing to Michael Roberts.

The William Saroyan Scholarship in creative writing to Ryan Frost.

The second annual Andrés Montoya Memorial Creative Writing Scholarships to James Pablo Tyner and Kenneth Chacon.

For the past five years Dean Luis Costa and the College of Arts and Humanities have sponsored the Levine and Saroyan scholarships of $1,000 each, named in honor of Fresno’s two Pulitzer Prize-winning authors in poetry and fiction.

Recipients are chosen by the creative writing committee on the basis of writing samples submitted as part of the application process to the MFA program. The college expects to offer a similar scholarship in Creative Nonfiction next fall.

The family of the late Andrés Montoya, in conjunction with the Creative Writing Program at CSUF, awards two $500 scholarships to one undergraduate and one graduate Chicano or Chicana who are pursuing a career in creative writing. The awards are on the basis of talent and need. Applicants are screened and finalists are selected by the creative writing committee, and recipients are selected by the Montoya family.

Poet and teacher Andrés Montoya was Fresno State student body president in 1991-92 and graduated in 1992. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Oregon in 1994, and went on to teach writing at several colleges and universities, including Fresno State.

During his years as a student at Fresno State, Montoya was one of the co-founders of the Chicano Writers and Artists Association. The student-run organization sparked a blossoming of Chicano arts at the university and continues to publish a journal, produce plays, organize readings of fiction and poetry and encourage artistic expression of the Chicano experience.

Montoya’s works include a full-length collection of poems, “The Ice Worker Sings and Other Poems” (Bilingual Press, 1999).