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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).
Mattawa Named MacArthur Fellow

"Those who think creativity is dying should examine the life’s work of these extraordinary innovators who work in diverse fields and in different ways to improve our lives and better our world,” said Cecilia Conrad, Vice President, MacArthur Fellows Program. “Together, they expand our view of what is possible, and they inspire us to apply our own talents and imagination.”

Among those to whom Conrad was referring as she introduced the 2014 recipients of MacArthur Foundation Fellowship's was our own Khaled Mattawa, who received his MFA in poetry here in 1994. Mattawa's work in translation, transnationalism and Arab and Arab-American poetry makes important contributions to a better understanding of the important role art has to play in cultural mediation. The MacArthur Foundation Fellowships are among the most prestigious accolades in the academic world. Congratulations, Khaled!

Read more about Prof. Mattawa's work and the MacArthur Foundation here: http://www.macfound.org/fellows/922/
Kiese Laymon Awarded 2014 Saroyan Prize

Kiese Laymon (MFA Fiction, 2003) has been awarded the 2014 William Saroyan Prize by Stanford University for his debut novel, Long Division. Set in the rural Mississippi in which he was raised, Laymon's novel weaves past and present in a complex time-traveling plot that reviewer Lucy McKeon praises for both its ambition and achievement: "more than anything, Laymon shows with surprising lucidity how American racialized inequality is persistent but mutable, that the past is not the present, but isn't, either, entirely past."

The Saroyan Prize is awarded biennially by Stanford University Library to new and emerging writers in fiction and non-fiction. The judges for the 2014 award in fiction were Heidi Durrow, Patrick Hunt, and Elizabeth McKenzie. Congratulations, Kiese, on this auspicious debut and significant accolade.

“Smart and funny and sharp...I loved it.” — Jesmyn Ward, author of Salvage the Bones, 2011 National Book Award winner

Read more about Long Division and the Saroyan Prize here: https://library.stanford.edu/projects/william-saroyan-international-prize-writing/2014-fiction-winner

Link to the Agate Bolden page for Long Division: http://www.agatepublishing.com/book/?GCOI=93284100797570
Ming Holden's Survival Girls

A creative writer, artist, and international development worker, Ming Holden (2013 Graduate) was most recently invited by the US Embassy to Suriname on a diplomatic speaking engagement under the U.S. Speakers Program for Women’s History Month. In 2011, she founded the Survival Girls, a theater group for young Congolese women in the slums of Nairobi.

Her first book, the nonfiction novella TheSurvival Girls, came out in 2013 through Wolfram Productions. Ming
also won the USAID worldwide essay contest for inclusion in the USAID Frontiers in Development publication alongside work by Bill Gates, Indra Noori, Paul Collier, and others. Her essay about the Survival Girls got some love from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself in the book’s introduction! (Ming’s writing about the Girls was also nominated for the AWP Intro Award for Nonfiction.)