SOURCE: Antioch University

June 24, 2005 11:36 ET

PEN Center USA and Poet Eloise Klein Healy to Receive Antioch University's First Annual Horace Mann Awards

CULVER CITY, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 24, 2005 -- On June 30, Antioch University Los Angeles will be launching its annual Horace Mann Awards to honor individuals and organizations carrying forth Mann's stirring injunction, "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity." Horace Mann was the first president of Antioch University, founded in 1852. The award ceremony will take place at the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theatre (REDCAT) in the Walt Disney Concert Hall at 7:15 p.m. on June 30, with cocktails at 6:30.

In this inaugural year, the organization award will be given to PEN Center USA and the individual award to poet Eloise Klein Healy.

PEN Center USA is a non-profit membership organization made up of 1,200 writers of every stripe working west of the Mississippi. One of two PEN centers in the United States and the third largest in the world, PEN Center USA was founded in 1943. It strives to protect the rights of writers around the world, to stimulate interest in the written word, and to foster a vital literary community among the diverse writers living in the western United States. The organization, therefore, has two distinct yet complementary aims: one fundamentally literary and the other having a freedom of expression mandate. Among PEN Center USA's various activities are public literary events, a mentorship project, literary awards and international human rights campaigns on behalf of writers who are censored or imprisoned. PEN Center USA Executive Director Adam Somers will receive the award and will recount the extraordinary stories and successes of PEN's Freedom to Write, PEN in the Classroom, and Emerging Voices programs.

Poet Eloise Klein Healy is founding chair of Antioch LA's pioneering MFA in Creative Writing program, the first non-residential program of its type in the Western United States. Currently she is a COLA Fellow, having received a grant from the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Los Angeles. She is the author of five books of poetry and a chapbook, and her poetry is widely anthologized. Her most recent collection, Passing (Red Hen Press), was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Poetry and The Audre Lorde Lesbian Poetry Prize from The Publishing Triangle. Artemis In Echo Park (Firebrand Books) was also a Lambda Book Award Finalist. Healy's work was awarded the Grand Prize of the Los Angeles Poetry Festival and also has been honored with a grant from the California Arts Council. She is co-founder of Eco-Arts, an ecotourism/arts venture.

At the ceremony, former PEN Freedom to Write award-winner Chris Abani, PEN Center USA president Kate Gale, and Writers at Work founder Terry Wolverton -- much-lauded poets who have been inspired by Eloise Klein Healy -- will read from their work.

From its inception, Antioch University has offered distinctive, progressive education that advances humanitarian values. For instance, Antioch instituted a policy in the 1850s that no applicant was to be rejected on the basis of race. It was the first U.S. college to designate a woman as a full professor. It innovated the work-study concept now widespread on college campuses. Today, Antioch University has five campuses: In Yellow Springs, Ohio (Antioch's founding location); Keene, New Hampshire; Seattle, Washington; Santa Barbara, California; and Los Angeles (Culver City), California. Antioch L.A. offers graduate degrees in education, psychology, management, and creative writing, as well as a B.A. completion program for working adults.

LucyAnn Geiselman, Ph.D., President of Antioch Southern California, says, "In creating its programs, Antioch University always addresses the question, 'what's important?' We feel it's important to call attention to people and organizations in our world that are promoting the values of tolerance, free expression, and literary excellence. Democratic culture needs such people."

Horace Mann Award tickets are available at $150 or $300 (VIP). VIP ticket holders will receive a guided tour of Walt Disney Concert Hall at 6:00 p.m. before the ceremony. All profits raised through ticket sales for the Horace Mann Awards each year will help fund undergraduate and graduate scholarships, enabling Antioch University to provide an education for students who might not otherwise be able to pursue a degree.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Chris Wolfe
    President's Office, Antioch University Los Angeles
    Email Contact
    (310) 578-1080, ext. 111