When Portland native Andrew Triska first came to Williams, he thought he would be a biology or a political science major. “It took me a while to get to English,” he says, “and to accept the ribbing from my all-engineer family.”
“In retrospect, it should have been a really obvious decision,” he says. In 2009, Andrew received an honorable mention for the Benjamin B. Wainwright Award, a cash prize for the best short story by a Williams student. This year, he won not only the Wainwright, but the Academy of American Poets Award, a cash prize for the best poem by a Williams student, and the Hubbard Hutchinson, Class of 1917, Memorial Fellowship.
To read read the poem for which Andrew won the Academy of American Poets Award, click here.
The Hutchinson, as it is informally known around campus, is awarded each year to one graduating Williams senior in each of the following disciplines: music, creative writing, visual art, dance, and theater. The fellowship is a cash award that can be used in any way for the recipient to pursue his or her creative art.
Andrew’s plans include traveling back to the West Coast to research a novel he is writing, tentatively called Thinking of Pretty Folded Birds. As he describes the book, “The protagonist is a young man teaching at a school for mentally ill and developmentally disabled boys circa 1900 whose family in the Philippines encourages him to marry a ‘picture bride’ that he has never seen or met.”
Andrew, who graduated in January and is currently living in Brooklyn, hopes to complete the novel’s first draft by September.
This year’s other Hubbard Hutchinson, Class of 1917, Memorial Fellowship recipients are: theater major Nathaniel Basch-Gould, studio art major Rebecca Chung, English and sociology major Alicia M. Cook (for dance), and music and philosophy major Jacob Walls (for music composition.)