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Hopwood Program


About the Hopwood Program

The Hopwood Program administers the Avery Hopwood and Jule Hopwood Awards in writing as well as many other contests and prizes. The program was endowed by Avery Hopwood, a popular American dramatist and member of the Michigan Class of 1905. Mr. Hopwood bequeathed one-fifth of his considerable estate to the University of Michigan with the stipulation that it be used to encourage "the new, the unusual, and the radical" in creative writing among students. During the years that have passed since the first Hopwood Awards were made in 1931, we have been able to award a cumulative total of almost $6,000,000 to more than 3,300 gifted writers. Former winners include Arthur Miller, Robert Hayden, John Ciardi, Frank O’Hara, Marge Piercy, Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop, Merrill Gilfillan, Lawrence Kasdan, Jane Kenyon, Mary Gaitskill, John U. Bacon, Susan Jane Gilman, Gabrielle Civil, Bich Minh Nguyen, Paisley Rekdal, Davey Rothbart, Diane Cook, Elizabeth Kostova, Jesmyn Ward, Celeste Ng, Randa Jarrar, Samiya Bashir, Chigozie Obioma, Jia Tolentino, Brit Bennett, Lillian Li, Danez Smith, and more. 

Click here for 1998 remarks on the history of the program and the legacy of Avery Hopwood, written for the New York Times.



The Hopwood Room was established by Professor Roy W. Cowden, Director of the Hopwood Awards from 1933 to 1952. It houses the Hopwood Library, a lending library of twentieth and twenty-first century literature supported in large part by the Miriam Baron Zerman Book Fund. The Hopwood Library contains books by Hopwood laureates from the 1930s to the present; contemporary fiction, poetry, drama, and literary nonfiction; current literary journals and magazines of interest to writers;  books on teaching creative writing, creative writing scholarship, and the writing life; the complete catalog of Burning Deck Press (founded by Hopwood laureates Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop); and a near-complete collection of books in the Poets on Poetry series published by the University of Michigan Press. University of Michigan students, staff, and faculty are welcome to check out circulating books for two weeks with an option to renew. The Hopwood Room is located at 1176 Angell Hall, 435 S. State Street on the Ann Arbor campus. Email for hours and events.


Hopwood Teas are held regularly during the fall and winter terms on Thursdays, an informal gathering to which all — students, staff, faculty, community members — are welcome. Visiting writers are often special guests at the tea. Teas are currently suspended due to public health restrictions.