Distinguished UNM Professor of American Studies Gerald Vizenor has just received the lifetime achievement award from MELUS, The Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States. Vizenor will receive his award at the Modern Language Association conference later this year.

This adds to an already impressive list of honors and awards Vizenor has received, including the Western Literature Association's Distinguished Achievement Award in 2005 and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writer's Circle of the Americas in 2001.

Vizenor received the New York Fiction Collective Prize and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation in 1988 for his novel Griever: An American Monkey King in China. He has also received the PEN Oakland, Josephine Miles Award, Excellence in Literature, for Native American Literature, an anthology, HarperCollins College Publishers, 1996, and for Interior Landscapes: Autobiographical Myths and Metaphors, University of Minnesota Press, in 1990. He has received an Artists Fellowship in Literature for 1989 from the California Arts Council, an award for professional achievement in literature.

The screenplay Harold of Orange won the Film-in-the-Cities national competition, Robert Redford Sundance Film Institute, summer 1983. The film won Best Film at the San Francisco Film Festival for American Indian Films.

Vizenor is a Native American, Anishinaabe, writer and an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, White Earth Reservation. He is one of the most prolific Native American writers, with more than 30 books to his name. He taught for many years at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was director of Native American Studies.

Media contact: Carolyn Gonzales, 277-5920; e-mail: cgonzal@unm.edu