2016-17 Bennett Fellows
Yelena Akhtiorskaya
Bennett Fellow, Fall 2016
Yelena Akhtiorskaya was born in Odessa, Ukraine, in 1985, raised in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, and earned an MFA from Columbia University. Her novel Panic in a Suitcase, which follows two decades in the life of a household of Ukrainian immigrants to the US in the era of the fall of communism, was called “brilliant” by The New York Times and led to her designation as one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.” Yelena’s work has appeared in n+1, The New Republic, Triple Canopy, and other publications. 
Jane Barnes
Kluge Fellow, 2016-17
Jane Barnes is the author of the novels I, Krupskaya: My Life with Lenin and Double Lives. Her essays and stories have appeared in MLLE, Mirabella, Prairie Schooner, Dialogue, and the Virginia Quarterly Review, among other publications. Barnes has written documentaries for American Experience, American Masters, and Frontline. While working on the PBS special series The Mormons, she was surprised to find herself passionately drawn to Joseph Smith and the Mormon religion, and the story of her move from secular curiosity to religious hunger was published as Falling in Love with Joseph Smith, which the Philadelphia Inquirer described as “brilliantly written” and “endlessly captivating.”
Malena Mörling
Bennett Fellow, Spring 2017
Malena Mörling is a Swedish-American poet and translator and associate professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is the author of two books of poetry, Ocean Avenue, which won the New Issues Press Poetry Prize in 1998, and Astoria, published in 2006. She has translated works by the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, the Finnish-Swedish poet Edith Södergran, and numerous other Swedish poets. She also translated the American poet Philip Levine into Swedish. She has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Lannan Foundation Fellow, and she is a research associate at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe.
David L. Ulin
Gallagher Fellow, Spring 2017
David L. Ulin was the longtime book critic of the Los Angeles Times before he moved recently to full time book writing. A 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, he is the author or editor of nine books, including Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles; the novella Labyrinth; The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time; and the Library of America’s Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology, which won a California Book Award.
Gabriel Urza
Shearing Fellow
The author of All That Followed, Gabriel Urza is a former public defender in Reno, Nevada, where he grew up. His fiction describes the fallout of the murder of a local politician in Muriga, a fictional town in the Basque region of Spain. Urza, whose family is Basque, was inspired by a real-life case involving a Basque political party with alleged links to terrorists, which he studied while doing legal research in San Sebastián on a grant from the Kellogg Institute that he received while at Notre Dame. The Basque region is not a setting commonly encountered in anglophone literature, but Urza had at least one model to draw on: his grandfather, Robert Laxalt, wrote several books about the region, including the memoir Sweet Promised Land.
2015-16 Shearing Fellow Okey Ndibe
Application & Deadlines

The EXTENDED application deadline for the 2017-18 Bennet Fellowships is November 15, 2016. Mailed materials should postmarked by November 15.

How to Apply

(1) Download and fill out this PDF application form (use Adobe Acrobat for best results).

(2) Submit the PDF form and other required materials online here.

(3) Mail a hard copy of all application materials and one published book (in English) to the following address:

Attn: Fellowship Application
Black Mountain Institute
Box 455085
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154-5085

Inquiries

If you have questions about the Diana L. Bennett Fellows Program, please email Patricia.Haddad@unlv.edu.

Current Fellows
Past Fellows