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Freund Prize for Creative Writing Alumni Reading by Julie Phillips Brown, Lena Nguyen, Michael Prior, & Renia White

Thursday, November 11, 2021 at 5:00pm

Klarman Hall, Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium (G70 Klarman Hall)
232 East Ave, Ithaca, NY 14853

Recipients of the 2021 Philip Freund Prize for Creative Writing in recognition of excellence in publication will read from their works:

Julie Phillips Brown, MFA '08, PhD '11, Poet
Julie Phillips Brown is an interdisciplinary poet, artist, critic, and editor. She is the author of The Adjacent Possible, winner of the Hopper Poetry Prize, and the founding editor of House Mountain Review. She has held research fellowships in contemporary poetry and poetics from the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University and the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University. Recent work appears in Revolute, The RumpusTwyckenham NotesVassar Review, and elsewhere.

Lena Nguyen, MFA '16, Novelist
The daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, Lena Nguyen taught courses in English, writing, vampires, and zombies at Cornell, and has studied writing all over the country, including at Harvard, Stanford, and Brown University. Her science fiction and fantasy have won several accolades, and WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HERE, her debut novel, was a Booklist starred review and an Amazon Editors' Pick for Best Science Fiction. Lena also works as a game developer and is currently writing her second novel.

Michael Prior, MFA '17, Poet
Michael Prior is the author of Burning Province (2020), which won the Canada-Japan Literary Award and the BC and Yukon Book Prizes' Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in places like The New RepublicPoetry, and the Academy of American Poets's Poem-a-Day Series. The recent recipient of fellowships from the New York Public Library's Cullman Center and the Jerome Foundation, Prior is an Assistant Professor of English at Macalester College. 

Renia White, MFA '16, Writer
Renia White is the author of Casual Conversation, a Blessing the Boats Selection forthcoming in Spring 2022. Originally from Maryland, she came of age in Riverdale, GA before earning her BA and MFA from Howard and Cornell University, respectively. She received the 2015 Hurston/Wright Foundation College Writers Award in poetry. Her work appears in publications such as The Offing, Slice, Witness, Southern Indiana Review, and elsewhere. She lives in NYC.

Books by the authors will be available for purchase at the reading courtesy of Ithaca's local cooperative, Buffalo Street Books.

Book signing to follow.

DOORS OPEN at 4:30 p.m.
Cornell ID REQUIRED for admission — Masks REQUIRED
Open only to attendees who are current Cornell students or employees. Cornell employees attending indoor events must complete the Daily Check prior to attendance. For latest guidelines visit

Philip Freund ’29, MA ’32, was a novelist, short-story writer, poet, documentary film writer, playwright, television dramatist, essayist, and literary critic. The Philip Freund Prize for Creative Writing honors graduates upon their successful publication. 

This event is presented by the Department of Literatures in English / Creative Writing Program at Cornell University

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Open only to attendees who are current Cornell students or employees

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