Alumna Youmna Chlala Awarded 2009 Joseph Henry Jackson Literary Award

Image: Tanya Traboulsi, *Music is Life: Lebanese Sounds Stills*, a Kleio Projects exhibition

Congratulations to CCA Graduate Program in Writing alumna, writer, and visual artist Youmna Chlala for being awarded the distinguished 2009 Joseph Henry Jackson Award for her poetry manuscript The Paper Camera. In addition to a $2,000 cash award, Chlala’s manuscript will be permanently housed at UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library. She was also invited to read from her award-winning manuscript at a separate awards ceremony held November 16 at 7 p.m. at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco.

About the Award
The highly competitive literary event, now in its 52nd year, is sponsored by The San Francisco Foundation and administered by Intersection for the Arts. The award has been administered by Intersection for the Arts since 1991. It is offered annually to encourage young writers (20 to 35 years old), who are either born in California or currently reside in Northern California or Nevada, for an in-progress manuscript. This award and others like it have proven to be instrumental in the career of young writers, many of whom have, as a result of winning the award, gone on to secure either literary agents or publishing contracts.

Judges of the award competition included Persis M. Karim, Toni Mirosevich, and giovanni singleton. Read more about the literary programs at Intersection for the Arts.

About the Artist
In 2004 Youmna Chlala (San Francisco) cofounded (with Gayle Romasanta) CCA’s Eleven Eleven, a journal of literature and art. Nominated for Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, she has been published in the MIT Electronic Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (2005) and The Journal of Cross Poetics (2004). She has had residencies at Headlands Center for the Arts, Hedgebrook, and Can Serrat, among others. She received a Walker Fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and has read her fiction for Neighborhood Public Radio’s participation in the 2008 Whitney Biannual. She has worked on exhibitions with Kleio Projects (New York); and San Francisco-based Electric Works, Root Division, and Southern Exposure. Chlala is currently working on a novel about architecture in Beirut and Los Angeles and is a visiting faculty member at LaGuardia Community College and Pratt Institute in New York.

[Image: Tanya Traboulsi, Music is Life: Lebanese Sounds Stills, a Kleio Projects exhibition]