Susan Hauser wins $25,000 Loft Award in poetry from McKnight Foundation

BEMIDJI, Minn. (April 6, 2010) — Susan Carol Hauser, professor of English and chair of the Department of English at Bemidji State University, is one of five winners of a $25,000 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers for 2010.

Hauser is one of four recipients of a Loft Award in Poetry and Spoken Word Poetry; a fifth Loft Award was given for children’s literature.

“I apply for five or six grants like this every year,” Hauser said. “I apply for support and recognition, and to get recognition is sweet at this point in my career.

“I started writing as a poet, then turned to prose and teaching,” she said. “The money is intended to give you time to write. This grant will help me return to my origins, so to speak, and pursue poetry in a serious way.”

Hauser said she intends to use the money from the fellowship to go on a retreat next winter and pursue poetry at a writer’s colony.

Hauser is the author of 12 books, including “Outside After Dark: New and Selected Poems,” four books on nature with subjects including poison ivy, ticks, wild rice, and maple sugaring, and one on writing. She has received Minnesota Book Awards for “Wild Rice Cooking: History, Natural History, Harvesting and Lore” and for “Meant To Be Read Out Loud,” received a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant and been a guest on “A Prairie Home Companion.” She also is a charter resident at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Red Wing, Minn.

Hauser began working at Bemidji State as an adjunct professor and catalog editor in 1980 and joined the faculty full-time in 1998. She earned her master of fine arts degree at Bowling Green State University and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English at Northern Michigan University.

Other winners of 2010 Loft Awards for poetry were Anoka-Ramsey Community College humanities instructor Kirsten Dierking, Minnesota State College – Southeast Technical English teacher Michael Larson and Minneapolis resident Elisabeth Workman. The children’s literature award went to Minneapolis writer and illustrator Debra Frasier.

The 2010 Loft Awards were judged by poet Marilyn Nelson. The author or translator of more than a dozen books, Nelson is a professor emeritus of English at the University of Connecticut and founder and director of the Soul Mountain Retreat writer’s colony. She also was Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut from 2001-06.

• Susan Hauser:
• Susan Hauser at
• Susan Hauser reading “Guests at the Table,” one of her submissions for The Loft Award:

About The Loft Literary Center
Incorporated in 1975, The Loft Literary Center is the nation’s largest independent literary center. The Loft supports the artistic development of writers, fosters a writing community and builds an audience for literature. Thousands of students register for Loft creative writing courses each year; thousands more participate in Loft readings and other events. Loft competitions, grants and honoraria help authors pursue the writing life. Loft publications and its Web site bring the writing life home to literature lovers everywhere. The list of acclaimed authors who have appeared at the Loft over the years reads like a Who’s Who of American letters.

For further information about The Loft, visit

About the McKnight Foundation
Support for individual artists has been a cornerstone of The McKnight Foundation’s Arts program since it began in 1981. The foundation believes that the arts cannot flourish or enhance community life without the ideas, energy and drive of individual artists, and that artists cannot make these contributions without unfettered creative time. McKnight fellowships can help an artist set aside periods of time for study, reflection, experimentation and exploration; take advantage of an opportunity; or work on a new project.

Currently, the foundation contributes about $1.7 million per year to its statewide fellowships, and additional funds support individual artists in greater Minnesota. In 2000, as a result of a statewide artist survey, McKnight raised its annual artist fellowship stipend from $10,000 to $25,000. The foundation offers fellowship programs in ceramics, choreography, composition, dancing, filmmaking, music, photography, playwrighting and screenwriting, theater artistry, visual artistry and writing.

For further information about the McKnight Foundation, visit