Campus Advisory Access the latest updates, FAQs, and resources for the Adelphi community on the global coronavirus pandemic. » COVID-19 Updates

Coronavirus Updates on Operations: Department or campus operations may be modified during this time. Please call or email the department for more information or visit



June 5, 2017

Martha Cooley Is Awarded O. Henry Prize for Short Story

Martha S. Cooley, Ph.D.

Professor Martha S. Cooley was named a recipient of the prestigious O. Henry Prize for her short fiction “Mercedes Benz.” The story—a meditation on poetry, cars and growing older—originally appeared in the journal A Public Space, where she is a contributing editor, and will be republished in an anthology with the rest of this year’s winners.

The story follows in setting and tone her recently published memoir Guesswork: A Reckoning With Loss, which followed her through a year in Italy as she reflects on her aging parents and the loss of friends. Writing for The Wall Street Journal, Diane Cole noted that “through evocative imagery and invocations of the poetry of Eliot, Dickinson and Whitman, [Cooley] reminds us that art can bring solace and clarity to the greatest pain.” The New York Times critic Meghan Daum called the book a “splendid and subtle memoir.” And the Times’ Book Match column called her previous work The Archivist “a layered literary novel about love, grief, mental illness and religion with a middle section told in diary form.”

A translator in addition to a writer and professor, Cooley has worked on the English publication of several volumes of Italian fiction and poetry. She divides her time between New York City and a medieval village in Lunigiana, Italy.

More Adelphi News

About Adelphi: A modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning

Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. It serves almost 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online. 

More than 116,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.

For further information, please contact:

Department of English
Harvey Hall Room 216
p – 516.877.4020