Dr. Vincent Reusch, associate professor of English, won a Minnesota State Arts Board individual artist grant for $10,000.
The program is designed to support and assist professional Minnesota artists at various stages in their careers by encouraging artistic development, nurturing artistic creativity, and recognizing the contributions of individual artists to the creative environment of the state.
Reusch applied for the funds to cover costs of childcare to free up writing time. He and his spouse, Heather Slomski, have a child in preschool and a baby on the way.
“Although this may not seem a very sexy thing to do with this money, the ability to immerse oneself in one’s fictional reality is essential for a writer,” Reusch said. “Because of the high cost of raising children, both in terms of time and money, many writers feel as if there is an either/or choice between art and family. That’s not a choice I’ve wanted to make.”
In addition to his teaching duties in Concordia’s English department, Reusch is currently revising a novel titled “Circumnavigation,” a family drama that takes place in the late 1980s. The story focuses on an adult daughter sailing solo around the world, in part on a quest for adventure, in part to avoid the difficult reality of her brother Peter’s slow death from AIDS. Seizing the opportunity of a captive audience, Peter mails a series of letters to her ports of call and through them tells her a story he believes she needs to hear.
Reusch also just finished the editing process for his short story collection, “The Mercurial Science of the Human Heart,” which will be released with New Rivers Press in October.
Reusch’s upcoming summer project is made possible by Concordia’s Humanities and Social Science Summer Research grant. He’ll be doing research for a historical novel along with two students – Karissa Chouinard ’19 and Maria Tommerdahl ’19 – and Dr. Joy Lintelman from the history department. The book will be about the Nova Scotian fishing schooner and racing ship the Bluenose and its races in the Fisherman’s Trophy contest.
“I am deeply grateful to the Minnesota State Arts Board for recognizing the merit in my work while also understanding the value I place on family,” Reusch said. “And I am tremendously thankful to live in a state that shares both of these values."