Guggenheim Fellowship

April 13th, 2012 | Uncategorized

[This is Mentor. I’m sending out a quick message until she has a chance to post in more detail, but as you may have heard Alison Bechdel has been awarded a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship for 2012.

Here are some pointers to a few of the announcements:

– On the Guggenheim Foundation website.

– From the LA Times .

– Here’s my favorite, from the Burlington (VT) Free Press:
Bolton woman recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship


41 Responses to “Guggenheim Fellowship”

  1. --MC says:

    I just saw that in the Times, as I was scanning the names in the big ad for my name. It wasn’t there, but Alison’s was. Mellow like a Fellow!

  2. Ginjoint says:

    Sheer glowing awesomeness, and well-deserved! Congrats, Alison! Also? That picture of you at the Guggenheim site is the best ever.

  3. Andrew B says:

    Congratulations, Alison.

    GJ, that’s the author photo from AYMM. If you check out the photographer’s portfolio of authors, you’ll see that Alison is in some rather fancy company.

  4. Meredith says:

    That is wonderful!!!

  5. Susan Scheid says:

    Well, I’m triply pleased to reconnect with your blog via Sarah’s to be here in time to send congratulations. Well deserved!

  6. shadocat says:


  7. Ben says:

    Congratulations, Alison!

  8. Kate L says:

    Holy Smokes! As Rocky the Flying Squirrel always used to say! 🙂

  9. Kate L says:

    Let’s all celebrate Alison’s honor with a bacon cocktail!

  10. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Not only that, but I checked her Guggenheim bio page, and her next book is going to explore the idea of family, focusing on the James family, Henry, William, and Alice. I knew this was a good time to start reading Henry James seriously, that is to say, obsessively.

    Congratulations, Alison! We knew you when!

  11. Thank you everyone! I’m very blown away about the Guggenheim.
    I have been trying for weeks to make a blog post about all the stuff going on here, but I’ve just been totally insane. Soon I will give you a full report!

  12. rinky says:

    Congratulations Alison. Very very awesome

  13. hairball_of_hope says:

    Mazel Tov Alison! Does the Guggenheim work like the MacArthur, where you have no idea you’ve been nominated until you win?

    I’m with Therry, time to start reading the James clan.

  14. hairball_of_hope says:


    No doubt you’re recovering from today’s HD broadcast of La Traviata, but if you’re into a total change of pace, check out tonight’s A Prairie Home Companion. Renée Fleming is one of the musical guests, and so far she’s performed a classical song in French (title escapes me at the moment), and a rendition of a Leonard Cohen song, Hallelujah, sung in a much lower range than I ever expected from her. She will be back for more, stay tuned.

    (… goes back to wishing she could carry a tune …)

  15. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    @Hairball, I did just get home from Traviata. I was very pleased with the Decker set and the general tone of the production, the essential interchangeability of Violetta. I thought Polenzani was a wonderful Alfredo, and loved his fight with Dmitri. And of course, I have been swooning over Dmitri for hours and hours. That voice! Those big brown eyes!

    I am not crazy about Natalie, but she did a decent job considering. But when it comes to Renee, I got to hear her sing Vivaldi on the way home from the theater, and don’t look forward to hearing her sing Cohen. Renee went into that low low range to make her indie rock album, the name of which I have suppressed. Maybe I’ll get to hear her sing Ariadne in Chicago sometime.

  16. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Therry (#15)

    Fleming just finished a very funny ‘Guy Noir’ skit, good comic timing. Now she’s singing some Elvis Costello, Scarlet Tide, as a sort of country-fied ballad. In the low register. I wonder if she’s ever sung gospel, I think her low register might be a good fit for it, and of course, she can hit all the highs.

    I prefer Desay singing in French, her mama loshen; her Italian sounded good to my tin ears, but it wasn’t an ethereal performance. Perhaps I am jaded because of Flórez’ fireworks a few weeks ago.

    During today’s performance, I was thinking about how regressive most operas are with respect to women, particularly toward those who are portrayed as naughty, independent, or pleasure-seeking (e.g. Violetta). They all die or are killed off. Are there any strong independent women in opera who don’t suffer that fate? No, the witches in Macbeth don’t count.

    (… goes back to radioland …)

  17. Alex K says:

    @HoH: Egli era tuo fratello! cries Azucena. A triumph of sorts.

    Now THERE’S family problems, by the way.

    AB, when you come to London, keep a Wednesday free — I think that Wednesday is “open day” — for a stop down to Rye, to Lamb Cottage, which Henry J. occupied before Benson / Mapp / Lucia moved in. All research; all expenses deductible!

  18. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Alex K(#17)

    Ah, Il Trovatore! Alas, the usual performances somehow miss the “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” interlude that the Marx Bros. thoughtfully remembered to include.

    (… goes back to looking for two hard-boiled eggs in her own stateroom …)

  19. Kate L says:

    The Night of 100 Tornadoes has ended out here on the Great Plains. It was like the old video game, asteroids, only the asteroids were people in their homes, and the players trying to blow them up were thunderstorm supercells. One town in the northern part of this county was first hit by a tornado from one of those supercells, then pummeled by grapefruit-size hail. No damage here at Moo U. Any other DTWOF bloggers in the Danger Zone over this weekend?

  20. Kate L says:

    … an image from Saturday storm-related damage in Wichita.

  21. Kate L says:

    … and, another image. Links to both photos from theweatherchannel . com.

  22. Ginjoint says:

    Kate, I was thinkin’ boucha last night.I’m very glad to hear you’re O.K. ((Kate))

    Hairball brought up the MacArthur Foundation grants. MacArthur has a Fellows Program that is set up for individuals – from their website: “The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.” Sounds a lot like someone we know, don’t you think?

    The amount awarded is $500K, paid out quarterly over five years. There’s nothing “required” from the award, either; no end result or product is expected. There’s not even any evaluation of the grantee’s work or progress over the five years. Sweet deal. An individual can’t apply – MacArthur has a team of “nominators” from different fields who suggest names.

    Believe it or not, the president of the MacArthur Foundation lives in the apartment above mine. He’s a very nice guy – I first met him in the laundry room. (Hey, even presidents of foundations with ginormous endowments have to throw in a load of undies sometimes, amirite?) I’d put in a good word for Alison, but somehow, I have the feeling that my say-so just wouldn’t be enough. 😉

  23. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Hmm, independent high minded women in opera. Aha! Minnie in La Fanciulla del West! Heavenly late Puccini. Minnie is a bar owner in the old West who falls for a robber and maneuvers her way not only to his love but also to his not being executed by a rival for her hand. She and the robber ride off into the sunset together. I think it’s Puccini’s best opera, but it doesn’t have the hit arias in it. You should check it out sometime.

    And I put it to you that Brunnhilde is a good candidate for woman ultimately triumphing over the force of the Gods. She does die, but on her terms, and she brings about the end of the universe ruled by the Gods and brings about the age of humanity.

    And women do very nicely in the comedies over all. Susanna and the Countess and even Barbarina do okay in Nozze di Figaro, and the Countess is the agent of their deliverance in the last scene. Adina does nicely in L’Elisir, and all Rossini’s mezzo heroines are the agents of the men’s downfall in his comedies.

    It’s just the tragedies that are downers, and why not?

    And as for Dessay not sounding ethereal, she was sick. What she sounded was wounded, which made the opera very touching.

  24. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Therry (#23)

    Hmmm… would La Fanciulla del West qualify as the very first spaghetti Western?

    (… goes back to looking for Eli Wallach …)

  25. hairball_of_hope says:


    I was thinking about you in the past few days with the tornado outbreaks, first in our old stomping ground of Norman, OK and last night across Dorothy-land. No doubt your old family house is properly built for twister territory, and now it has a new roof, which helps. Not that any roof will be unscathed after two feet of grapefruit-sized hail pummels it, but it’s better than an old roof with rotted underlayment.

    Hang in there and stay safe, it looks like more rough weather is headed your way.

    (… goes back to channelling Margaret Hamilton …)

  26. Kate L says:

    Ginjoint (#22) Thanks! 🙂

    The Wind Took/
    The Ground Shook/
    Me And My Baby Traded
    One Last Look/
    The Cow and the Plow Are History, Now
    Ain’t No Escapin’ The Tornado of Love
    – Rainmakers (1987)

  27. Ginjoint says:

    I forgot to say – Andrew, I checked out that link. That photographer is quite good, and yeah, Alison’s up there with the heavyweights!

  28. Eva says:

    Alison! What an honor! Congratulations. And, I have had the privilege of reading Are You My Mother, as I received a copy from Bear Pond Books in Montpelier on Friday! For the moment all I can say is thank you for writing it, and beautifully well done.

  29. Alex K says:

    Holy moley! AB is the subject of a NEW YORKER profile this week!

    Well, dang. Buy up her artwork, boys and girls, before prices skyrocket.

    And, hey, AB — wow. Just… wow.

  30. Kate L says:

    Holy Smokes, THE NEW YORKER??? 🙂 Next stop, The Rachel Maddow Show! (Please, please, please, A.B?)

  31. Cathy says:

    All this good news is amazing, AB! Well-deserved congratulations to you! I love seeing my taste in cartoonists validated.

  32. Andrew B says:

    Wow. Take that, Norah Vincent! (If you don’t get it, read your copy of AYMM.)

    There’s an abstract of the article here. If you are willing to pay, or if you have a print subscription and you’re willing to register, you can read the article there. I have a subscription but haven’t registered. It will be interesting to see if I can hold out until the tree corpses get here, probably Wed or Thurs, or if I break down and register to read it online.

  33. Lisa says:

    No one deserves this award more than you! Nice work. I’m so thrilled for you. Wow, wow, wow. (But I’ve known you’re a genius since the early days of DTWOF, so I’m just patting myself on the back right now for having excellent taste.)

    Please share: What are you going to do to celebrate?

  34. Donna W. says:

    So cool!

  35. Minnie says:

    Wonderful news about the Guggenheim Fellowship!
    I just got word from Vroman’s bookstore that my pre-ordered copy of “Are you my mother?” is ready for pick-up!

    hairball_of_hope, thanks for the heads-up about Reneé Fleming being on “Prairie Home Companion”. I can find the broadcast online, I hope. I did hear her in “la Traviata” – ahh so swooningly wonderful a voice – I forgive the opera its plotline.
    How about “Tosca” for woman-with-backbone, and a more timeless – if still tragic – plor?

  36. Minnie says:

    Plot, I meant to type. PLOT! Sorry.

  37. Anna in Albuquerque says:

    Our counter-culture lesbian little secret is really out now. And well-deserved recognition, I’d say, Alison.

  38. makky says:

    Have just returned home now at about 8 o’clock in the evening with AYMM, I opened it to lil Alison watching The Sound of Music in a theatre–I have pretty much the same memory, only I was 2 yrs older, and I can’t remember who I was with, but I distinctly remember looking upwards and being enthralled. In a state of wonderment. Only Julie Andrews wasn’t my first celebrity crush, there was Doris Day and an early Mary Tyler Moore before.

  39. Aunt Soozie says:

    Mazel Tov Alison!!!!

  40. LondonBoy says:


  41. Congratulations Alison!! If you’re in Provincetown this summer and would like to come do an artist talk or presentation at AMP: Art Market Provincetown, I’d be honored to have you!
    All the best,