Hannah Kofman '18 was awarded the fifth annual Axinn Foundation/Anna Quindlen Award for Creative Writing. The prize is awarded annually to a graduating senior, who receives $25,000 to support her creative writing. It is given by the Joan F. and Donald E. Axinn Foundation in recognition of Pulitzer Prize–winning author Anna Quindlen ’74, her outstanding contribution to American life and letters, and her sustained support for the education and development of young people. The Axinn Award was presented by President Sian Beilock, who gave remarks along with Anna Quindlen, Writer-in-Residence Jenny Boylan, and Millicent C. McIntosh Professor in English and Writing Mary Gordon at a reception on campus on April 12.
Kofman, who is from Los Angeles, is an English major with a concentration in creative writing. Her influences in fiction are Elif Batuman, Elena Ferrante, Jen George, Alexandra Kleeman, Andrea Lawlor, and Maggie Nelson. This semester, she is writing her thesis on the ways in which Sophie Calle, Ferrante, and Chris Kraus theorize female identity from positions of patriarchal abjection. After graduation, she plans to work as a freelance writer. "Eventually, I hope to return to school for an MFA in fiction," says Kofman. Last year, she won the Annette Kar Baxter Memorial Prize for a short story that explored the narrator’s struggle with gendered illness.
“Winning this award has been so incredible and surreal; it is wonderful to have this vote of confidence, and to be gifted the opportunity to create a space for myself to continue to think, read, and of course, write, following graduation," says Kofman. "I am immensely grateful for this flexibility, especially as I continue a longer project that I began as a part of my creative writing thesis, a hopefully-novel-length project that draws heavily from my time here at Barnard,” says Kofman.
Award committee included professors Boylan, Yvette Christiansë, Lisa Gordis, Mary Gordon, Saskia Hamilton, Alexandra Horowitz, Timea Szell, and Margaret Vandenburg.
|Information about previous winners|
|Katy Lee '17|
|Lillian R. Fishman '16|
|Sauleh Kamal '15|
*Photos courtesy of Asiya Khaki '09