Associate professor at U. of Michigan among winners of MacArthur Foundation 'genius grants'

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ANN ARBOR, Michigan — An associate professor at the University of Michigan is among the 21 winners of this year's MacArthur Foundation "genius grants."

The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced on Wednesday the 2014 recipients, including Khaled Mattawa, who will each receive $625,000 to spend any way they like.

The 50-year-old is a poet and translator of contemporary Arab poetry at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He says he started translating the poetry as way to teach himself to write poetry.

Mattawa says the work can connect people from different cultures. He says: "The poets are bearing witness not only to the humanity of their own people but of a shared humanity."

The awards, given annually since 1981, are doled out over a five-year period.

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