The Lannan Literary Awards and Fellowships were established in 1989 to honor both established and emerging writers whose work is of exceptional quality. Over the last 18 years, through its Awards and Fellowships program, the Foundation has awarded 161 writers and poets over $11 million. The awards recognize writers who have made significant contributions to English-language literature. The fellowships recognize writers of distinctive literary merit who demonstrate potential for continued outstanding work.
Paula Gunn Allen, of Laguna, Sioux and Lebanese descent, is a literary critic, poet, and novelist, and a noted scholar of Native American literature. During a long and distinguished academic career, she edited numerous seminal texts including The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in Native American Traditions (1986) and Spider Woman’s Granddaughters (1990) as well as works on poetry and critical essays on Native American literature. She retired from her position as Professor of English/Creative Writing/American Indian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1999.