Dinaw Mengestu is John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of the Humanities and director of the Written Arts Program.
Dinaw Mengestu, recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, was born in Ethiopia and raised in Illinois, first in Peoria and then in the suburbs of Chicago, which “felt like they were part of a small town.” As a result, he feels “deeply rooted” in the rural Midwest. He holds a BA from Georgetown University and MFA from Columbia University.
Mengestu has written three novels; as a journalist, he has covered strife in Darfur, northern Uganda, and eastern Congo. He was chosen for the 5 under 35 Award by the National Book Foundation and the New Yorker’s “20 under 40” list. He and his wife, Anne-Emmanuelle, are eager to welcome students to Coulter House for dinners, readings, Sunday crepes, and conversations over tea and coffee with some of their favorite artists and writers.More about Dinaw