Mott (right) demonstrates firearm safety to young customer.
MACARTHUR FOUNDATION INAUGURATES NEW “OVER-ACHIEVER” AWARDS
New York—Greg Mott, a 42 year old poet with an IQ of 115, well below “genius” level, was shocked to receive the early morning call in his Waukeegan, Wisconsin, split-level home. “I thought it was one of my buddies down at Marty’s Blast & Spin,” Mott said, referring to the local outdoor sports store where he works. “Though it was a pretty sophisticated joke, I guess.”
In fact, it was Stuart Davis from the MacArthur Foundation informing Mott that he’d been awarded a $12,500 MacArthur “Over-Achiever” Award. Not quite the six-figure stipend the Genius Awards carry, but enough to keep Mott in paper and contest fees for quite a while.
“We don’t want to risk anyone getting excited and quitting his or her day job,” Davis said. “We want to honor their achievements, which are all out of proportion to their talents, but we don’t want to send the wrong message. Publishing a sonnet in the Waukeegan Register’s ‘Bard’s Corner’ is not the stuff on which immortality--or financial security--is founded.”
Mott is best known for placing second in the Wisconsin State Poetry Society’s annual “Celebration of the Panfish” contest for his “Walleye Sutra.”
Another MacArthur Over-Achiever Award winner is Charles Martin of Provincetown, Massachusetts, a 65 year old watercolorist known for his crisply-limned sand dunes, driftwood, sea gulls, and snow fences. “Mr. Martin may have been the first beach artist to include lobster traps,” Davis said. “And his relentless pursuit of the perfect float-and- rope combination sets him apart from the legions of souvenir-shop artisans.” In the official citation from the judges, Martin was lauded for his “more-than-sophomoric, but considerably less-than-senioric efforts.”
Provincetown Times art critic, Leslie Shaw-Mumford was quick to second the MacArthur Foundation’s choice. “He’s done pretty well, considering,” she effused.