Michigan associate professor gets ‘genius’ grant

Susan Whitall
The Detroit News

Khaled Mattawa, a translator and poet at the University of Michigan, has won one of the coveted MacArthur “genius” grants, it was announced Wednesday.

The 50-year-old Mattawa is an associate professor in the university’s Department of English Language and Literature, known for his translations of Arabic poetry that, in the words of the MacArthur Foundation, “evoke the rhythm and cadence of Arabic,” and make the poetry accessible to English-speaking readers.

In addition to his translations, Mattawa is author of “Mahmoud Darwish: The Poet’s Art and His Nation,” co-editor of “Post Gibran: Anthology of New Arab American Writing” and “Dinarzad’s Children: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Fiction,” and has four collections of his own poetry published, including “Tocqueville.”

Other MacArthur Fellows announced include cartoonist Alison Bechdel, as well as scientists, mathematicians, historians and a composer.

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards $625,000 fellowships to those who have shown “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”