Ten fine writers were graced, on Sept. 19, with $50,000 each, receiving that phone call from heaven we all dream of: "Hello. We just want you to know that we appreciate your work, we think you've made a fine contribution thus far, and we want to help you continue." The archangel is the Lannan Foundation and the awards are the Lannan Literary Awards, given each year since 1989 for excellence in fiction, poetry and nonfiction. The winners are: Hayden Carruth (a poet from Connecticut), Carol Ann Duffy (a Scottish poet living in London), Li-Young Lee (a poet, born in Jakarta, now living in Chicago), Arthur Sze (a poet from Santa Fe who was inspired by Denise Levertov to choose poetry over electrical engineering), Louis de Bernieres (a novelist from London), Mary Morrissy (a fiction writer from Dublin, Ireland), Alice Munro (a fiction writer from Ontario, Canada), Thomas Berry (a cultural historian and founder of the Riverdale Center for Religious Research in the Bronx), Richard K. Nelson (a cultural anthropologist who has lived with the Eskimos and the Athabaskan Indians in Alaska), and Scott Russell Sanders (an essayist from Tennessee and a professor of English at Indiana University in Bloomington). Next year, or the year after, it could be you.

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