Arts/Culture
1:58 pm
Fri April 8, 2011

Bonnie Jo Campbell awarded prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship

Circus fans, rejoice.

Bonnie Jo Campbell, best known as the author of the short story collection American Salvage, has been awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship.

American Salvage was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Critics Circle Award.

The fellowship was awarded for Campbell's current project, which revolves around a set of characters in "a contemporary American circus."

From MLive:

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded 180 Fellowships today and author Bonnie Jo Campbell, of Kalamazoo Township, was one of the recipients.

The foundation said on its website that the awards were "appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants.

The great variety of backgrounds, fields of study, and accomplishments among Guggenheim Fellows is one of the hallmarks of the Fellowship program.  This year’s Fellows range in age from twenty-seven to eighty-four, and originate from towns and cities across the United States and Canada. Their Fellowship projects will carry them to all parts of the world."

The award will support Campbell's project where she spent five months with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. She will be writing "a series of interlocking stories set in a contemporary American circus, revealing surprisingly rigid social hierarchy in this multicultural institution," the release said.

This year, the Guggenheim Foundation awarded 180 Fellowships yesterday to artists, scientists and scholars.

The awards were announced yesterday. Check out a full list of the winners here.

And for those of you who can't wait for the book, here's some flying trapeze action from Ringling Bros.

-Brian Short, Michigan Radio Newsroom