Sarah Lawrence Graduates Receive $50,000 Whiting Writers' Award

Sarah Lawrence alumni David Adjmi ’93 and L.B. Thompson ‘97 were each named one of the ten recipients of the 2010 Whiting Writers’ Awards given by the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation to writers of exceptional talent and promise in their early careers.

David Adjmi’s plays include Stunning (premiered at Lincoln Center Theater), The Evildoers (premiered at Yale Rep), Marie Antoinette, Strange Attractors, Elective Affinities (premiered at the Royal Shakespeare Company) and Caligula. His plays have earned him a Bush Artist's fellowship, and Jerome, McKnight, Cherry Lane Theatre, and Kesselring fellowships. Adjmi has also received the Helen Merrill Award, a Marian Seldes-Garson Kanin Award, a Lecomte du Nouy Award, and a Steinberg Playwright Award.

The Whiting selection committee saw in David Adjmi “a truly theatrical imagination. His plays come charging to life in front of a live audience.  He does things with embodied language that few young playwrights even think to try.  Wildly inventive feats of juxtaposition and wit drive these pieces as they scoff at the foolish consistencies of a too-too tidy dramaturgy.”

L. B. Thompson’s poetry chapbook Tendered Notes: Poems of Love and Money won the Center for Book Arts’ annual chapbook competition in 2003.  Her poems have appeared in Fence, Pool, Lyric, The Women’s Review of Books and The New Yorker. She is a past recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and her essay, “Torpor: Metaphors of Hibernation,” appeared in Prairie Schooner in 2009.  The Whiting selection committee said the following about Thompson’s work: “This is poetry that could only be poetry—it has real wit as well as sensuousness. Ms. Thompson is a true visionary poet. So wild and strange and brilliant, this poetry is alive—filled with the sense of a part-human, part-Other intelligence, curious, questing.  Also astonishing is the bright, clear gaze—like being in the presence of the oracle.”

The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation was established in 1963 by Flora E. Whiting.  The Foundation created the Whiting Writers’ Awards in 1985 under the direction of Gerald Freund, who organized and led the program until his death in 1997.