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U.S. Department of State
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Media Note
June 5, 2000

Annual Fulbright-Margolin Prize Created for Ukrainian Writers

The Fulbright Office in Kiev, which administers the Fulbright scholarship program between Ukraine and the United States, will award an annual writing prize for Ukrainian authors beginning in the 2000 academic year. This award, the first of its kind, will encourage and support the growth of a new generation of Ukrainian writers and intellectuals, improve relations between the literary and critical communities in Ukraine and the United States, and provide an impetus for the publication and discussion of outstanding works from Ukraine in both countries. An essential component of this award will be undertaken in the United States. The form of the exchange will be appropriate to the recipient but may include teaching, lecturing, participating in conferences, or undertaking a project of translation or creation in common with an American author.

A binational selection panel will be convened in Kiev and will be comprised of critics, writers, publishers, and scholars, some of whom will be alumni of the Fulbright program. One award will be made each year and will alternate between the categories of fiction and non-fiction. The award of $20,000, underwritten by a combination of public and private funds, will consist of a cash award to the author, a subvention for the publication of written works, and an exchange with the United States appropriate to the winner. The funding from U.S. Government monies is especially dedicated to that exchange.

The award is named in honor of Senator J. William Fulbright (1905-1995), in honor of his commitment to mutual understanding, and Arnold D. Margolin (1877-1956), the outstanding Ukrainian-American lawyer and diplomat who represented the Ukrainian Rada government of 1917-1918 at the Paris Peace Conference. Mr. Margolin later had a second career as an academic and author in the United States where he taught at the University of Pennsylvania and New York University among other institutions. In his 1945 memoirs, From a Political Diary, Margolin wrote: "In looking back over the years wholly devoted to the cause of the Ukrainian people, I feel no regret for all the toil, the sacrifices, and privations which were bound up with this task. On the contrary, I believe that it was a duty laid upon me as a son of Ukraine and one from which I had no moral right to abstain."

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs William B. Bader said, "The Fulbright program, because of its standing in Ukraine as elsewhere in the world, is an especially appropriate instrument to honor the memory of Senator Fulbright and Mr. Margolin. Such an award honors both statesmen and reaffirms the traditional amity between the Ukrainian and American peoples."

Media Inquiries: Catherine Stearns, U.S. Department of State, Office of Regional Media & Press Outreach, phone (202) 647-0874.

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