At a ceremony at the University of New Orleans tonight, Peauxdunquian Maurice Carlos Ruffin will be named a “Distinguished Alumnus” of UNO’s Creative Writing Workshop MFA program. Peauxdunque is proud to have a broad and deep connection to the CWW. Several members of Peauxdunque have graduated from or are still attending the CWW, including Maurice, April Blevins Pejic, Dana Glass, Tad Bartlett, Caroline Goetze, Andrew Kooy, and Emily Capdeville. In addition, several CWW faculty members (and themselves incredibly distinguished alums of the CWW) have read at our occasional “Yeah, You Write” reading series, including Bill Loefhelm, Amanda Boyden, and Joseph Boyden.
Maurice graduated from the CWW in 2013 as the recipient of the Joanna Leake Prize for Fiction Thesis for his short story collection “It’s Good to See You’re Awake.” In 2011, in his first year in the program, he was awarded the Ernest Svenson Fiction Award (which has subsequently been won by Peauxdunquians Tad Bartlett in 2014 and Dana Glass in 2015). Since graduating from the CWW, Maurice has won the 2014 Iowa Review Award for Fiction, the 2014 Short Fiction Contest from So To Speak magazine, and the 2014 gold medal in the novel-in-progress category of the William Faulkner-William Wisdom writing competition. Maurice’s fiction and non-fiction have been published in Iowa Review, So To Speak, Callaloo, Cicada, The Massachusetts Review, New Delta Review, The Knicknackery, Writing Tomorrow, Redivider, 94 Creations, Apalachee Review, Regarding Arts & Letters, Ellipsis, and South Carolina Review, as well as in the maps-and-essays collection, Unfathomable City, and the Scars anthology.