BRONX, N.Y. – Lehman College student John Infante has won full scholarship to the prestigious New York State Summer Writers Institute at Skidmore College for Summer 2008.
The Lehman junior was one of only 28 winners selected for the highly coveted opportunity to study and spend time with some of the most prominent names in contemporary writing. Past visiting writers have included Joyce Carol Oates, Jay McInerney and William Kennedy.
“I am really looking forward to it,” said Infante, who is the CUNY B.A. program, double majoring in Cross-Cultural Literature and Creative Writing here at Lehman.
“I think John will benefit greatly from this experience, which is an honor to be a part of,” said Prof. Terrence Cheng (English and Creative Writing), himself the author of two novels. “I think he'll represent himself and Lehman well. I am confident that his writing will turn some heads and raise some eyebrows up there, and he'll continue to do so as long as he keeps his head straight and continues to work hard and grow.’’
Infante nabbed a fiction scholarship with his short story “Without a Big One There Ain’t Love.” Written in the second-person, present tense, the work chronicles a few days in the life of a 9 year-old boy who is unaware that his father is in jail and is mother is abusing drugs.
“His father is not around and his mother keeps telling him he is in school,’’ explains Infante. “Eventually a friend tells him the truth but it ends on a high note. His innocence prevails at the end. He doesn’t believe it.’’
Added Prof. Cheng: “John is a talented young man whose fiction is original and daring, even as it remains true to classically traditional literary values. In a short time he's come a long way because he is a hard-working perfectionist, and that is what ultimately separates the real writer from the rest of the pack.”