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Brandon Hobson receives Petree College Distinguished Alumni Award

Brandon Hobson

Dr. Brandon Hobson, Bachelor of Arts in English ’92, is the 2022 recipient of the Petree College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award.

“Brandon Hobson is an outstanding and well-deserved selection by the college,” says Dr. Amy Cataldi, dean of the Petree College of Arts & Sciences. “Every year the Distinguished Alumni Award is a tribute to the diversity in our Arts & Sciences offerings and the flexibility and creativity of our degree-earning alums. As such, Brandon is not only a very talented, successful, and celebrated writer but also an incredibly gracious graduate who reaches back to his alma mater in numerous ways.”

Hobson is the author of four novels and many short stories and essays. His 2018 novel "Where the Dead Sit Talking" was a finalist for the National Book Award in the U.S. and the Dublin International Literary Award. He is a winner of the esteemed Pushcart Prize and Reading the West literary prize. His most recent novel "The Removed" uses Cherokee folk tales to explore the concept of generational trauma. It was on several “most anticipated” lists for 2021 and garnered national publicity on NPR's "All Things Considered" and the Late Night with Seth Meyers' podcast as well as a feature article in New Mexico’s state magazine.

Recently, Hobson received a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship, which honors scholars across multiple disciplines “on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.” The Guggenheim has launched many famous artists in the early stages of their careers, including jazz musician Thelonious Monk, novelist Philip Roth, choreographer Martha Graham, and filmmaker Ken Burns. Hobson is serving as a judge for the 2022 National Book Award for Fiction.

Hobson earned his Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University. He currently teaches creative writing in the MFA programs at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. He is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation Tribe of Oklahoma.

”Brandon Hobson’s novels and stories give voice to Native American and American histories and lives that are too often unheard," said Rob Roensch, director of OCU’s Red Earth MFA Program. "He is a necessary storyteller and a writer of immaculate and piercing sentences, and he is more than deserving of his many awards. As a member of the OCU community, he has been generous with his time and his talents, giving readings on campus, visiting classes and leading workshops both for the undergraduate English department and for the graduate Red Earth MFA. We are grateful to have him as an alum.”