Padma Viswanathan is the recipient of the 2017 Porter Fund Literary Prize, a $2,000 award presented annually by a nonprofit established in 1984 to honor the memory of Dr. Ben Kimpel, chairman of the English department at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and named for his mother, Gladys Crane Porter. The award goes to writers with an Arkansas

“It seemed somehow fitting that I received the call about being selected for the Porter Prize while watching my kids play in Central Park,” Viswanathan said. “No matter where I go now, Arkansas, my adopted home, exerts an irresistible pull. I didn’t know, when I moved to Fayetteville 11 years ago, whether Arkansas would have me, nor what I would have to offer this place. To be awarded the Porter Prize feels like a response to those questions. I am profoundly honored.”

Viswanathan, an associate professor of creative writing at the UA, will be honored at an award ceremony Thursday, Oct. 26, at the Main Library’s Darragh Center Auditorium.