Holy Family University Professor Honored with Prestigious Literature Award

Elizabeth MooreThe American Academy of Arts and Letters has named Liz Moore, Assistant Professor of Writing and Coordinator of Humanities at Holy Family University, the recipient of its prestigious 2014 Rome Fellowship in Literature. Moore is among only 20 writers nationwide selected by the American Academy of Arts and Letters to receive a 2014 Literature Award, and one of only two honorees to be granted the Rome Fellowship in Literature.

Moore will spend one full year – September 2014 through August 2015 – living and writing at the American Academy in Rome. Founded in 1894, it is the premier American overseas center for independent study and advanced research in the arts and humanities. Moore has been granted a one-year leave of absence by Holy Family University and will return in time for the Fall 2015 semester.

“I am overjoyed,” says Moore, who has been teaching at Holy Family University since 2010. “I have never lived abroad, and it's always been one of my goals, so this is an incredible opportunity. Mostly, I'm looking forward to having a whole year to write, since I've always worked full-time. I love my students and I love teaching and look forward to returning to Holy Family in Fall 2015, but I really look forward to digging into my writing for a year. Also, of course, I'm looking forward to getting to know Rome, and maybe learning a little Italian!”

Moore writes both fiction and creative nonfiction, and has published two novels, The Words of Every Song (Broadway Books/Random House, 2007) and Heft (W.W. Norton, 2012). Heft was named to the “Best of 2012” lists by NPR and the Apple iBookstore, and long-listed for the 2014 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Moore’s short stories and nonfiction pieces have appeared in The New York Times and the online edition of Ladies' Home Journal, among others, and she has published several book chapters in anthologies including The Rust Belt Rising Almanac (The Head & the Hand Press, 2013) and The Book of Men (Picador, 2013). She is currently working on her third novel.

Each year, the American Academy of Arts and Letters nominates and selects 20 writers as the recipients of its Literature Awards. These literature prizes, totaling $230,000, honor both established and emerging writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The 2014 Awards will be presented at a formal ceremony on May 21 in New York City.

“I am overwhelmed to be in such good company,” says Moore. “I'm filling big shoes in accepting the Rome Fellowship, since past winners include the likes of Ralph Ellison, William Styron, Anne Sexton, Lorrie Moore, and Junot Diaz.”

The American Academy of Arts and Letters is an honor society comprised of 250 architects, composers, artists, and writers. Election to the Academy considered the highest formal recognition of artistic merit in the United States. The Academy's purpose is to foster and sustain an interest in Literature, Music, and the Fine Arts by identifying and encouraging individual artists. This is accomplished by administering awards and prizes, exhibiting art and manuscripts, funding stage readings and performances, and purchasing works of art for donation to museums. Additional information can be found at artsandletters.org.