NEA awards TIR 2016 Art Works grant to support writing by veterans

TIR staff

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu announced on Dec. 8 that The Iowa Review, the literary magazine at the University of Iowa, will receive a $10,000 NEA Art Works grant to support the publication of creative writing by U.S. military veterans and active-duty service members.

The funding will allow The Iowa Review to expand the reach of its Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans, a contest sponsored by the family of Vietnam War veteran and antiwar writer and activist Jeff Sharlet. NEA funding will allow the magazine to eliminate contest submission fees, publicize the contest among possible entrants, award five prizes, and distribute the work of the winners widely, both in print and in an online gallery.

The Iowa Review held its first veterans’ writing contest in 2012, with winners published in its spring 2013 issue. The next contest deadline will be June 1, 2016. Phil Klay, National Book Award–winning author of Redeployment, will be the final judge. The contest is open to U.S. military veterans and active-duty personnel writing in any genre and about any subject matter.

Chairman Chu says, "The arts are part of our everyday lives—no matter who you are or where you live—they have the power to transform individuals, spark economic vibrancy in communities, and transcend the boundaries across diverse sectors of society. Supporting projects like the one from The Iowa Review offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

“With involvement in wars such a major part of our story as Americans, there are veterans from many conflicts who want to share and process their experiences,” says Lynne Nugent, managing editor of The Iowa Review. “We believe the contribution of a literary magazine can be to provide a point of connection between those who want to explore their experience through the creative use of language and those who want to learn about it and understand it in the deep way that literature can provide.”

Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence: public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancing the livability of communities through the arts. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, visit the NEA website.