Photo by Tommi Ferguson
Photo by Tommy Gay
The winners of the Dobie Paisano writing fellowships for 2004-2005 are Scott Blackwood, a fiction writer who lives in Austin, and Daniel Rifenburgh, a poet who lives in Houston.
The fellowships, sponsored by The University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Institute of Letters, allow writers to spend six months at Paisano, the late author J. Frank Dobie's 254-acre retreat west of Austin, now owned and maintained by The University of Texas at Austin.
Blackwood, who will hold the Ralph Johnston Memorial Fellowship, will begin residence at Paisano in September. Rifenburgh will hold the Jesse Jones Writing Fellowship and begin residency at Paisano in March 2005.
Scott Blackwood holds a B.A. in Psychology from UT Austin and an MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University (formerly SWTSU). He is the Program Coordinator of the Undergraduate Writing Center at UT Austin and a Visiting Fiction Writer at Southwestern University in Georgetown. His collection of short stories, "In the Shadow of Our House," (SMU Press, 2001) was reviewed in the New York Times as an impressive and accomplished debut collection. His stories have appeared in the Southwest Review, the Boston Review, Gulf Coast, Other Voices, and Whetstone. Blackwood plans to complete a novel, "See How Small," which is set in Austin.
Daniel Rifenburgh holds degrees from Florida Atlantic University and the University of Florida. He has resided in Houston the past 15 years where he has been adjunct instructor in writing at the University of Houston and at Inprint, Inc. In 2003 The Texas Institute of Letters awarded him the Natalie Ornish award for First Book of Poetry for "Advent" (Waywiser Press, London). In 1996 he received the Robert Winner Award from the Poetry Society of America to honor an American poet in mid-life who has not been recognized. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, Paris Review, the New Criterion and Southwest Review. Rifenburgh plans to complete the manuscript for his second book of poetry while at Paisano.
The runners-up for the fellowships are Timothy A. Westmoreland, a native Texan who is an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Jose Skinner, an assistant professor of creative writing at UT-Pan American.