Alumna Named Guggenhein Fellow

Valpo and Christ College alumna René Steinke ‘86, novelist, editor, and educator, has been named a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow. Often characterized as “midcareer” awards, Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.

Steinke’s most recent novel, Friendswood (Riverhead), was named one of National Public Radio’s “Great Reads” of 2014. Friendswood was shortlisted for the St. Francis Literary Prize, and it was an Amazon Book of the Month. Her previous novel, Holy Skirts (2005), an imaginative retelling of the life of the artist and provocateur, Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her first novel was The Fires (1999). Her essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, Vogue, O Magazine, Redbook, Houstonia, Salon, Bookforum, and in anthologies. She is the former Editor of The Literary Review, where she remains editor-at-large. She has taught at the New School and at Columbia University, and she is currently the director of the MFA program in creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Steinke holds a BA from Valparaiso University, an MFA from the University of
Virginia, and a PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.