CMTS Announces the Michael J. Kiskis Quarry Farm Fellowship

It took Michael Kiskis time to walk across the Elmira College campus, and not only because he moved at such a leisurely, languid pace. It was a rare day when Michael made it to his office without being stopped by students who wanted to talk over their ideas (or problems) , ask a question about Twain (or life), or even just share a story (or a laugh) with one of the most demanding, engaging, and beloved Professors ever to teach at Elmira College.

Michael died suddenly on May 8th, 2011, leaving behind a record of insightful, original scholarship on the life of Mark Twain, which is rivaled only by the enduring legacy of his teaching. When asked once about what guided his work as a professor, he recalled his mother’s “simple statement of principle”: “You learn and you use that learning to make your way. And you pay back, and make sure that others make their way.” Michael Kiskis devoted his life to that principle, encouraging young scholars to develop their talents, to hone an original voice, and to use that voice to change the world.

The Michael J. Kiskis Quarry Farm Fellowship was established to honor Michael’s legacy as a scholar and a teacher.  Through the resources of this fellowship, the Center for Mark Twain Studies will continue the legacy of Michael J. Kiskis, by supporting the critical and creative work of emerging scholars in the field of Mark Twain Studies. 

  • Recipients of the Michael J. Kiskis Quarry Farm Fellowship will receive an additional $500 to their Quarry Farm Fellowship honorarium.
  • All graduate students, recently minted Ph.D. academics, and creative writers new to the field of Mark Twain Studies who have already been accepted to the Quarry Farm Fellowship program are eligible.
  • The selection committee will prioritize Quarry Farm Fellows working in the field of biography and/or autobiography, but all emerging scholars and writers are eligible.

For more information about the Michael J. Kiskis Quarry Farm Fellowship, including essays, lectures, personal statement, and a selected biography of Doctor Kiskis’s publications, click HERE.