IU Bloomington announces inaugural visiting fellow in creative arts

  • Feb. 26, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Kate Lilley’s poetry is widely celebrated in her native Australia, where she published her first piece at the age of 15.

Now, the award-winning poet and English professor from the University of Sydney will bring her gifts to Indiana University Bloomington as the inaugural fellow in a new collaboration: Lilley is the first recipient of the United States Studies Centre-Indiana University Creative Arts Fellowship.

The fellowship is the result of a partnership between IU Bloomington and the University of Sydney, and was made possible by a gift from Michael Thawley, Australia’s secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Thawley, the Australian ambassador to the U.S. from 2000 to 2005, was awarded Indiana University’s Thomas Hart Benton Medallion in 2002.

“This collaboration with the University of Sydney and its United States Studies Centre, one of the leading international institutions for the study of the U.S., is a profound example of Indiana University’s global engagement,” IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. “We at Indiana University are eager to welcome Kate Lilley to campus, and we are much indebted to Michael Thawley for the generous gift that makes this fellowship possible.”

IU Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel said the new fellowship is a tangible example of the campus’ strengths in the arts and humanities.

“Professor Lilley is a perfect fit for our campus, and I am delighted she will be the first recipient of this international fellowship in the creative arts,” Robel said. “Our bicentennial strategic plan envisioned enhanced opportunities for campus-wide artist-in-residence programs, and this wonderful gift comes at a particularly opportune moment. I am deeply grateful to Michael Thawley for supporting this outstanding fellowship.”

Lilley was selected from a strong field of applicants around the country with a proposal focused on the poetic power of archival objects and the interactions between the literary and the visual.

During the 2015 fall semester, she will conduct research at the Lilly Library and the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction in Bloomington.

“Both have fantastically interesting and poetically suggestive collections that are perfect for the kind of research-led creative writing I do, and my main areas of interest: early modern and modern poetry, and the history of gender and sexuality,” Lilley said.

She will study the work of Mary Ellen Solt (1920-2007), who taught comparative literature at IU Bloomington and directed the Polish Studies Center, and whose works are archived at the Lilly Library. “Solt is an important and critically neglected concrete poet and scholar of modern poetry,” Lilley said.

While at IU, she also plans to finish her current book of poetry, tentatively titled “Realia”; present new research; give poetry readings; participate in research colloquia and seminars; and expand her existing connections with faculty from the Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences.

About the United States Studies Centre-Indiana University Creative Arts Fellowship

The United States Studies Centre-Indiana University Creative Arts Fellowship is intended to support people working in the creative arts, including (but not limited to) music, fine arts, film, theater, design, creative writing and literature. Preference is given to applicants who are both accomplished scholars and accomplished practitioners in their chosen field. The fellowship aims to support substantial progress toward the completion of a significant artistic project. Fellows will also receive support from the IU Bloomington campus in the form of housing and office space.

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Jennifer Piurek

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