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Simon’s Rock Professor Receives Fulbright Award

Contact: Kimberly Rock
Director of Communications
Karen Anderson
Associate Director of Communications

Simon’s Rock Professor Receives Fulbright Award

GREAT BARRINGTON, MA—Bard College at Simon’s Rock professor Brendan Mathews, a member of the faculty in the Division of Languages & Literature, has received the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Teaching & Research Award. The award will take him to Ireland in the fall, where he will teach in the new master’s program in creative writing at University College Cork. While in Ireland, Mathews will also continue work on a novel set in Ireland and New York City in the 1930s.

Mathews, who joined the faculty in 2007, teaches courses in creative writing and literature, as well as in the College’s First-Year Seminar sequence. His short stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories 2010 and in literary magazines in the United States and UK. Last month, one of his stories was selected by guest editor Jennifer Egan for inclusion in Best American Short Stories 2014, due out in October.

While in Ireland, Mathews will teach a graduate short story workshop at UCC and participate in the annual Cork International Short Story Festival. “Ireland has an unparalleled literary tradition, and the Fulbright will allow me to dig into this history while also making connections with the current generation of Irish writers,” he said.

Mathews will also serve as an ambassador for Simon’s Rock, and he hopes to foster new relationships between the College and institutions abroad. Simon’s Rock has a robust study abroad program and building relationships with universities in Ireland will be an added benefit of Mathews’ award.

“Brendan is not only a gifted writer but also a spectacular teacher,” noted Simon’s Rock Provost Peter Laipson. “He is a wonderful ambassador for Simon’s Rock, and we’re proud and pleased he will represent the College in Ireland.”

When he’s not in the classroom, he will spend his time writing and conducting archival research that will assist with a novel-in-progress. “The novel is informed by research I’ve done in books and online, but what I’m interested in are the details of everyday life. Archives, old letters, and days spent in the landscape are the closest a writer can get to time travel: What did this small town look like 80 years ago? How did people express themselves in the 1930s? How did they imagine their place in the world, before it was written down as history?”

Mathews received his MFA from the University of Virginia, where he was a Henry Hoyns Fellow. He earned his BA with Highest Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by Senator J. William Fulbright and is now the largest U.S. international exchange program in the world. Recipients of Fulbright Scholar awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement.

Bard College at Simon’s Rock is the only four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences specifically designed for bright, highly motivated students ready to begin college after the tenth or eleventh grade. Students are taught exclusively in small seminars by a supportive, highly-trained faculty. Degrees are granted in over 40 areas of study. Most graduates proceed to earn graduate and professional degrees at highly selective universities. Simon's Rock was founded in 1966 and joined the Bard College network in 1979. For more information visit