Congratulations to Manuel Muñoz!

I bumped into Prof. Manuel Muñoz today after work (I'd stopped by campus to deposit my check and chat with a couple of friends.) The four of us got to talking about his second collection of stories, The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue. We talked about the heartbreakingness of his story "When You Come Into Your Kingdom."

Then I mentioned that "Tell Him About Brother John" was one of my favorite stories in the collection, and he told us that that story has been selected for an O. Henry Prize and will be published in the 2009 collection! This is wonderful news---I couldn't have been happier to hear it. It's kind of funny, because we read the 2008 collection in the advanced fiction workshop that I took with him this past Fall semester.

Recently, he won the 2008 Whiting Writers' Award. He got his MFA at Cornell and is now teaching fiction at the University of Arizona.

Here is a interview with him about teaching and the "writing vote."

Here is a great little chat with him from

Here's an article from the UA website that came out when he won the Whiting Award.

I feel so lucky and grateful to have had the chance to take a class with him. He's an amazing writer and an equally amazing teacher. It's just so clear that he's truly invested in helping his students to improve as writers.

Congratulations Prof. M!

PS---I know, I know, I wasn't supposed to blog first today. But it's a special circumstance! And so far, I've kept my promise to stay away from the blogs. But I'm jonesing bad, man, jonesing bad. Into the tub with me!

Update 8:30 pm: Still haven't looked. I think I'll make it this first day. That has to be the hardest part, right? The only problem is that I've smoked more today than I have in a long time (like 5 cigarettes, instead of one or two.) My health vs. my peace of mind...well, I wasn't very healthy, anway.

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