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Richard Powers elected to American Academy of Arts and Letters

Novelist Richard Powers, a professor of English at the University of Illinois, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Powers, a MacArthur Award winner and winner of the National Book Award for Fiction in 2006, used the PLATO system in the 1970s at the University of Illinois when he was a student there. He told me once that he'd never have become the novelist he did if not for the profound eye-opening experience he had by being exposed to PLATO.

From the University of Illinois news release linked above: "Election to the Academy, based in New York, is considered the highest formal recognition of artistic merit in the U.S. Members are elected to the academy for life, and the roster of past academicians includes literary giants such as John Cheever, Sinclair Lewis, Carl Sandburg, and Edith Wharton. Current members of the academy's department of literature include E.L. Doctorow, John Irving, Joyce Carol Oates, Gore Vidal, and Elie Wiesel."

If you haven't read any of Richard's novels, I would suggest starting with Galatea 2.2 or Plowing the Dark as they both have interesting PLATO DNA in them.

 

Learn more about the upcoming book:

The Friendly Orange Glow: The Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture, by Brian Dear

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