Susan Muaddi Darraj, associate professor of English at Harford Community College, has received the Maryland State Arts Council 2022 Independent Artist Award. Darraj is one of two state awardees who will receive a $25,000 grant in recognition of outstanding artistic achievement.

This grant will help support continued artistic growth.

This year, the arts council is awarding $264,000 to 69 Maryland artists who represent a wide range of artistic talents from across the state. Twelve artists who demonstrated notable artistic achievement each received an award of $10,000, and 57 artists who demonstrated promising work received an award of $2,000 each.

Darraj was one of two state awardees chosen from the $10,000 regional winners to receive an additional $15,000 for her outstanding work.

Before winning this year, she was a former two-time recipient of the MSAC Individual Artist Awards.

There were nearly 300 applicants, and a panel with a wide range of literary expertise from across the state reviewed and evaluated each eligible application.

Additionally, Darraj was recognized for her short story collection, “A Curious Land: Stories from Home,” which was named the winner of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction.

This collection also won the 2016 Arab American Book Award, a 2016 American Book Award, and was shortlisted for a Palestine Book Award.

In 2018, she was named a Ford Fellow by USA Artists and was awarded grants from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and from the Sustainable Arts Foundation. Darraj was a 2018 USA Ford Fellow.

In 2020, Capstone Books launched her debut children’s chapter book series, “Farah Rocks,” about a Palestinian American girl named Farah Hajjar. Darraj has served as a lecturer in the Johns Hopkins University’s Master of Arts in Writing program and as a faculty member in Fairfield University’s Master of Fine Arts program.