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English Prof Awarded Playwriting Grant

Middlesex Professor Benjamin Marshall was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

At a public meeting, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts announced the award of 2012 Individual Artist Fellowship grants to 22 New Jersey artists selected from more than 300 applicants in the categories of crafts, sculpture, photography, playwriting and poetry. These highly competitive grants are based on independent reviews of work samples submitted and the anonymous process is focused solely on artistic quality. The grants help artists to produce new work and advance their careers and their impact on society.

“I love to use language to tell stories and to hide stories,” he says. “People reveal things when they talk and also when they are silent.”

Professor Marshall says teaching is like being on stage.

“I always try to engage my students in some ways, so I’m always asking questions. Sometimes they don’t like that – they’d rather be lectured to – but I find it helps them learn when they are challenged. Especially in my English composition classes, I bombard them with a lot of material and find that something is relevant for almost everyone. What I look for is the moment when everything clicks and the student ‘gets it.’ That is very satisfying.”