Creative Writing and Translation Graduate Students and Alumni Receive Artists 360 Awards

Clockwise from top left: Jane Blunschi, Robin Bruce, Willi Carlisle and Karstin Johnson.
Kat Wilson Photography

Clockwise from top left: Jane Blunschi, Robin Bruce, Willi Carlisle and Karstin Johnson.

Mid-America Arts Alliance has announced the recipients of the 2021 Artists 360 Awards. Two current graduate students and two alumni of the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing and Translation in the Department of English have been awarded project grants. Their proposed projects focus on poetry, prose and podcasting/media.

Artists 360, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, made possible through the support of the Walton Family Foundation, is a three-year pilot program that provides grant funding and professional development opportunities to individual artists of all disciplines in the greater Northwest Arkansas area.

Grants include learning opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills and build sustainable careers, creating a network of leading regional artists. 

M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing and Translation student and alumni recipients of project grants are: 

First-year M.F.A. student and poet Robin Bruce will develop Songs for Gordon, a scored audiobook based on her manuscript of poetry and essays, Dear Gordon, using a variety of instrumentation including cello, classical guitar, piano and singing.

Fourth-year M.F.A. student Karstin Johnson, who writes of her work in poetry, "Each poem I write inherently protests the marginalization of the arts. In a patriarchal society that sees women as inferior, resisting patriarchal conventions through writing is revolutionary."

Elizabeth Muscari in front of Kimpel Hall
Elizabeth Muscari

Jane Blunschi ('16) will complete work on Stigmata, Specifically, a collection of essays in which the role of queerness and spirituality in the formation of identity is explored, with pieces focused on body image, addiction, sobriety, fertility, marriage and divorce.

Willi Carlisle ('15) will produce A Folksinger's Almanac, a series of podcasts and live performances featuring field recordings, interviews and folksongs from Arkansas and around the world. A Folksinger's Almanac will focus on rural, queer and outsider voices.

In addition to this year's award winners, Artists 360 recognized the outstanding finalists for student grants, including second-year poet Elizabeth Muscari.


Jane Blunschi, assistant director, Program in Creative Writing and Translation
Department of English


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