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Upadhyay Short-Listed for Open Award

Samrat Upadhyay, Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities, is one of the many PEN Literary Award finalists announced April 16 for his novel The City Son.

Among the other finalists for prizes in nine different categories were Cynthia Bond, whose debut novel, “Ruby” was an Oprah Book Club pick; poet Claudia Rankine, whose “Citizen: An American Lyric” nabbed a National Book Critics Circle Award last month; Leslie Jamison for her essay collection, “The Empathy Exams”; and S.C. Gwynne for “Rebel Yell,” his biography of Civil War general Stonewall Jackson.

Most of the winners will be announced on May 13, and the awards will be presented at a ceremony in New York on June 8. This year PEN is giving 19 awards, fellowships, grants and prizes equaling almost $150,000. PEN's Open Book Award, for which Uphadyay is under consideration, recognizes "an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2014." This year's finalists, in addition to Upadhyay and Rankine are: Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman; Teju Cole, Every Day is for the Thief; and Roxanne Gay, An Untamed State.

http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/books/pen-literary-award-finalists-for-2015-are-announced-1.10277996
Ross Gay Awarded Radcliffe Fellowship

Ross Gay has been selected for a Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University for the 2015-16 academic year. Previous winners have included: Junot Diaz, Geraldine Brooks, and Natasha Trethewey. This is a significant and well-deserved honor, as well as an extraordinary opportunity for Ross. Congratulations!
Coming this fall...

Reaktion Press has begun advertising Alyce Miller’s contribution to their Animal series, Skunk, available for pre-order in advance of a November release date. Animal is a pioneering series from Reaktion Books. The first of its kind to explore the historical significance and impact on humans of a wide range of animals, each book in the series takes a different animal and examines its role in history around the world. The importance of mythology, religion and science are described as is the history of food, the trade in animals and their products, pets, exhibition, film and photography, and their roles in the artistic and literary imagination. This series has rapidly become a touchstone resource for scholars and the general public interested in animal studies. Skunk joins a crowded menagerie of fascinating beasts and fascinated scholars.

Read more about Skunk (including ordering information) here: http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/S/bo22257253.html
Miller Awarded Gilchrist Prize

Alyce Miller has been named the inaugural winner of the Ellen Gilchrist Prize in Short Fiction for her short story "Missing." Her work will be published in the March 2015 issue of China Grove, the literary magazine published by China Grove Press. See the announcement here: http://www.chinagrovepress.com/2015/03/12/the-gilchrist-prize-in-short-fiction/.

The Prize is named for Ellen Gilchrist, 1984
American Book Award Winner for Victory Over Japan, recognized as one of the premier writers of short stories in American literature.

China Grove is a literary collection published semi-annually by China Grove Press, curated by editors Scott Anderson and Luke Lampton. The publication features a mix of fiction, poetry, essays, art, historical artifacts, interviews, and analysis.
Aguilar wins NDR Chapbook Competition

Leslie Aguilar (3rd year Poet) has been named the winner of the 2014-15 New Delta Review's Chapbook Contest. Michael Martone said of her entry, Mesquite Manual: "The book, like its titular subject, is tough and delicate, aromatic, evasive and invasive. This manual instructs us to take apart the tenacious mysteries of this desert world and reassemble them into the sweet transpiring forage of lucid dreams." Congratulations, Leslie!
Unabashed Gratitude

Brighten your day. Brighten your bookshelves. Ross Gay has published another collection of poems.

“ . . . this is as delicate/as we can be/in this life/practicing/like this . . . ”

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is a sustained meditation on that which goes away—loved ones, the seasons, the earth as we know it—that tries to find solace in the processes of the garden and the orchard. That is, this is a book that studies the wisdom of the garden and orchard, those places where all—death, sorrow, loss—is converted into what might, with patience, nourish us.

Thank you, Ross.

Since its inception in 1967, the Pitt Poetry Series has been a vehicle for America’s finest contemporary poets. The series list includes Poet Laureate Billy Collins, Toi Derricotte, Denise Duhamel, Lynn Emanuel, Bob Hicok, Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Ted Kooser, Larry Levis, Sharon Olds, Alicia Suskin Ostriker, Virgil Suárez, Afaa Michael Weaver, David Wojahn, Dean Young, and many others.

Throughout its history, the Pitt Poetry Series has provided a voice for the diversity that is American poetry, representing poets from many backgrounds without allegiance to any one school or style.
Kyle Dargan's Honest Engine

Congratulations to Kyle Dargan (2005 Graduate, Poetry) for publishing his fourth collection of poetry, Honest Engine (University of Georgia Press, 2015). In this collection, Dargan examines the mechanics of the heart and mind as they are weathered by loss.

Following a spate of deaths among family and friends, Dargan chooses to present not color-negative elegies but self-portraits that capture what of these departed figures
remains within him. Amid this processing of mortality, it becomes clear that he has arrived at a turning point as a writer and a man.

“Scary smart and admirably vulnerable, this book is a treasure." - Victor LaValle, novelist and author of Big Machine and The Devil in Silver
Aguilar wins 2014 Washington Square Award

Third-year poetry student Leslie Aguilar has received the 2014 Poetry Award from Washington Square for "The Hitching Post." This year's judge was D. A. Powell.

http://washingtonsquarereview.com/awards/
Matejka 2014 Lannan Fellow

"Where there's smoke, there's fire."

And the author of The Big Smoke remains on fire. Last week, Adrian Matejka was a finalist for the 2014 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Award in Poetry (kudos to Amaud Jamal Johnson who won for his collection, Darktown Follies). This week, he raised the bar again, when he received the 2014 Lannan Literary Fellowship for Poetry: http://www.lannan.org/literary/detail/adrian-matejka

Lannan Foundation is a family foundation dedicated to cultural freedom, diversity and creativity through projects which support exceptional contemporary artists and writers, as well as inspired Native activists in rural indigenous communities.

The Foundation recognizes the profound and often unquantifiable value of the creative process and is willing to take risks and make substantial investments in ambitious and experimental thinking.

The Foundation also gives awards and fellowships to writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction and in the area of cultural freedom. Awards recognize individuals for extraordinary work in their fields.
Horvath Winner of 2014 New Ohio Review Contest in Poetry

Stephanie Horvath (2014 Graduate, Poetry) was the winner of the 2014 New Ohio Review Contest in Poetry for her three poems "Medicine," "So That Is What I Am," and "Cades Cove Water Wheel" (http://www.ohio.edu/nor/contest.htm).