Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Winners Announced for the AWP Creative Nonfiction Award, National Poetry Series, and Cave Canem Poetry Prize

We're pleased to announce the winners of several creative writing awards. Look for these soon-to-be published books this fall.

Association of Writers and Writing Programs

Congratulations to Sarah Gorham for winning this year’s Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award for Creative Nonfiction with her work STUDY IN PERFECT. Gorham is a poet, essayist, and publisher who resides in Prospect, Kentucky. She received her MFA from the University of Iowa and her BA from Antioch College. She currently has four published collections of poetry including DON'T GO BACK TO SLEEP, THE TENSION ZONE, THE CURE, and BAD DAUGHTER. Her poems and essays have been published widely, and she has won several awards, along with grants and fellowships. In March 1994 Gorham founded Sarabande Books, a small press devoted to the publication of poetry, short fiction, and literary nonfiction. She currently serves as president and editor-in-chief. She is the wife of fellow poet Jeffrey Skinner, the mother of two daughters, and a grandmother.

Sarah Gorham’s STUDY IN PERFECT will be published by the University of Georgia Press in the fall of 2014. Last year’s winner, THE SMALL HEART OF THINGS by Julian Hoffman, was published by UGA Press in October 2013.

STUDY IN PERFECT is a book that wholeheartedly delves into ‘the many-faceted idea of perfection.’ Drawing from the realms of science, philosophy, linguistics, social history, and personal reminiscence, the writer uses the abundance of knowledge and intuition at her disposal to define these facets. In doing so, she probes the human capacity to imagine perfection and to seek its illusive promise despite the odds against finding it. In many ways, this is a book about yearning and imperfection as much as it is about the ideals we strive for, and the author’s humanizing touch makes STUDY IN PERFECT not only informative but emotionally rewarding as well. It’s not often that I encounter a writer whose prose is this precise and lyrical and whose imaginative leaps are as articulate, unpredictable, and entertaining.—Bernard Cooper
National Poetry Series

The National Poetry Series is pleased to announce the results of the 2013 open competition. The winning books are scheduled for publication in the summer of 2014.

AMPERSAND REVISITED, by Simeon Berry of Somerville, Massachusetts
Chosen by Ariana Reines, to be published by Fence Books

TRESPASS, by Thomas Dooley of New York, New York
Chosen by Charlie Smith, to be published by HarperCollins Publishers

BONE MAP, by Sara Eliza Johnson of Salt Lake City, Utah
Chosen by Martha Collins, to be published by Milkweed Editions

ITS DAY BEING GONE, by Rose McLarney of Tulsa, Oklahoma
Chosen by Robert Wrigley, to be published by Penguin Books

WHAT RIDICULOUS THINGS WE COULD ASK OF EACH OTHER, by Jeffrey Schultz of Los Angeles, California
Chosen by Kevin Young, to be published by University of Georgia Press

The National Poetry Series was established in 1978 to ensure the publication of poetry books annually through participating publishers. More than 160 books have been awarded since the series’ inception. Publication is funded by the Lannan Foundation, Stephen Graham, the Joyce & Seward Johnson Foundation, Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds, and the Poetry Foundation.

For more information, please contact 
The Coordinator 
The National Poetry Series 
57 Mountain Avenue 
Princeton, NJ 08540 
Phone: 609.430.0999 Fax: 609.430.9933 

Jeffrey Schultz's poems have appeared in Boston Review, Indiana Review, Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, Poetry, and elsewhere and have been featured on the PBS Newshour's Art Beat and Poetry Daily. He's received the "Discovery"/Boston Review prize and a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. He lives in Los Angeles and teaches at Pepperdine University.

Cave Canem

Established in 1999, this first-book award is dedicated to the discovery of exceptional manuscripts by African American poets. The participation of distinguished judges and prominent literary presses has made this prize highly competitive.

2013 Winner: F. Douglas Brown for his manuscript ZERO TO THREE

These poems lead us from the birth cry in a hospital delivery room, to dusk and revelry in Spain, to modern-day Florida and history-laden Mississippi where Trayvon Martin and Emmitt Till were slain. Even when what Brown has set out to do is grieve loss, his lines move with a buoyant, marrow-deep music, percussive and rich. They move like ‘a train, bound to a destination’ and they arrive with ‘the crackle lightning makes when it hits.’—Tracy K. Smith 

2013 Honorable Mentions: Leon Baham for THE BOOK OF IMAGINARY BOYS and Donika Ross for AMERICAN TAXONOMIES.

F. Douglas Brown, an educator for nearly twenty years, currently teaches English at Loyola High School of Los Angeles, an all-boys Jesuit school. He has an MA in literature and creative writing from San Francisco State University and a BA in English from Santa Clara University. Mr. Brown is both a Cave Canem and Kundiman fellow, two writing organizations that celebrate and cultivate African American and Asian American poets, respectively. Brown has two children, Isaiah and Olivia. When he is not parenting, writing, or teaching, Brown is busy deejaying in the greater Los Angeles area.