AWP Award Series Winners

Previous winners of the The Donald Hall Prize for Poetry, The Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction, the AWP Prize for the Novel, and the AWP Prize for Creative Nonfiction. Scroll over each photo for more information.

Year Genre Judge Winner Title

2012 Winners

Poetry Arthur Sze
Joan Naviyuk Kane

Winner: Joan Naviyuk Kane
Hyperboreal, University of Pittsburgh Press

Arthur Sze, Judge: “Arnica nods heavy-headed on the bruised slope.” In these vivid, disturbing, and mysterious poems, written in English and Inupiaq, Joan Kane writes out of the landscape and language of the far north. Hyperboreal is situated at a threshold between cultures, between inner and outer worlds, and the poems are voiced with a “knife blade at the throat's slight swell.” Her compelling vision is earned through a language that will dislocate in order to relocate and whose tonal shifts are exact and exacting.

Joan Naviyuk Kane is Inupiaq with family from King Island and Mary’s Igloo, Alaska. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and her MFA from Columbia University. She was a 2006 semi-finalist for the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets and a finalist for the Poetry Foundation’s 2009 Ruth Lilly Fellowship. She received a 2004 John Haines Award from Ice Floe Press, a 2007 individual artist award from the Rasmuson Foundation, the 2009 Connie Boochever Fellowship from the Alaska State Council on the Arts, a 2009 National Native Creative Development Program grant, and the 2010 Alaska Conservation Foundation’s Native Writers on the Environment award. She received a 2009 Whiting Writers’ Award for her first poetry collection, The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife, published in its first edition by NorthShore Press Alaska and in its second edition by the University of Alaska Press. Along with her husband and toddler sons, she lives in Anchorage, Alaska

Finalist: Katharine Whitcomb — Summer, Posthumous

Hyperboreal
Short Fiction Dan Chaon
Lucas Southworth

Winner: Lucas Southworth  
Everyone Here Has a Gun, University of Massachusetts Press

Dan Chaon, Judge: Everyone Here Has a Gun took me on a roller coaster ride that I’d never been on before.  It shares some of its headspace with the stories of Angela Carter and Robert Coover, a touch of David Foster Wallace’s Girl With Curious Hair and Kevin Brockmeier and Kelly Link—but ultimately these stories are sui generis. Every piece is strikingly different,  and yet there’s also a cohesion to the collection that plunged me deeply into this writer’s alien yet weirdly familiar world, as if I’d been dreaming someone else’s dream. There are images and moments in each of these stories that have lodged into my brain like shrapnel. A truly unique and memorable reading experience.

Lucas Southworth received his MFA in fiction from the University of Alabama, where he is an Instructor in English. He is also a co-partner and editor of Slash Pine Press, an initiative that specializes in community outreach and publishing chapbooks with undergraduate interns. His stories have appeared in Mid-American Review, West Branch, PANKWillow Springs, and others. He grew up in Oak Park, IL, and also holds degrees from Knox College and Iowa State University.

Finalist: Graham Arnold — A Chorus of Bombs: Japan Stories

Everyone Here Has a Gun
Novel Kathryn Davis
Andrew Ladd

Winner: Andrew Ladd
What Ends, New Issues Press

Kathryn Davis, Judge: This remarkable, haunting novel tells the story of the McCloud family and their life on Eilean Fior, a very small island off the northwest coast of Scotland.  The clarity of Andrew Ladd’s prose is as deceptive as the clues to the cryptic crossword puzzles George McCloud, the family patriarch, is obsessed with solving.  The book’s true subject is time, the island not only a place but also the uncanny, enclosing moment.  In What Ends “time isn’t passing, it’s circling,” and the story of one family’s life on a Hebridean island becomes an apocalyptic vision of what it means to live in time, that “blink of stone on a giant sea.”

Andrew Ladd holds a BA from McGill University in Montreal and an MFA from Emerson College in Boston. His master's thesis, an earlier draft of What Ends written under the guidance of Margot Livesey, was nominated for the Emerson Dean’s Award and, most recently, was a semifinalist in the 2012 Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award. His short fiction has been published or is forthcoming in Apalachee Review, CICADA, and Paper Darts, and his essays in Memoir (and), Open Letters Monthly, PANK’s “This Modern Writer” series, The Rumpus, and others. He grew up in Scotland and now lives in Brooklyn, where he writes for a living and is the Book Reviews Editor for the Ploughshares Blog.

Finalist: Pamela Kearney —The Sunflower Wife

What Ends
Nonfiction Terry Tempest Williams
Julian Hoffman

Winner: Julian Hoffman
The Small Heart of Things: Being at Home in a Beckoning World, University of Georgia Press

Terry Tempest Williams, Judge: The Small Heart of Things is an elegant ecotone between people in place; culture and landscape among the borderlands of Greece. To labor; to place one's hands in the furrows of the field; to stand against the sky among flocks of finches and redstarts is to feel at home in the world. This writer is a seeker and seer among those who work the land within the cycles of time. He knows how to listen and not simply catalog nature, both human and wild, but create a tapestry of embodied stories born out of the intimate wisdom, of sweat and hunger and an earthly intelligence. At a time when we wonder where hope resides, this is a book of faith in the natural histories of community, broken and sustained. Not only does the language honor the encountered beauties along the way, it explores a complexity of ideas that reminds us we are not strangers in the world if we remain open to awe and respectful of the tenacious spirit required to live in place. The Small Heart of Things is a book of patience.

Julian Hoffman was born in England and grew up in Canada. In 2000, he and his partner Julia moved to the Prespa Lakes in northern Greece where, after some years as market gardeners, they now work as ornithologists, monitoring birds in sensitive upland areas where wind farms have been built or proposed. His essay 'Faith in a Forgotten Place,' which is taken from the manuscript of The Small Heart of Things, won the 2011 Terrain.org Nonfiction Prize. Other writing has recently appeared, or is forthcoming, in Kyoto Journal, Southern Humanities Review, EarthLines, Flyway, Three Coyotes, Fifth Wednesday Journal, and The Redwood Coast Review. You can catch up with him at www.julian-hoffman.com

Finalist: Annya Broderick — from elle a.

The Small Heart of Things: Being at Home in a Beckoning World

2011 Winners

Poetry Dorianne Laux
Laura Read

Winner: Laura Read
Instructions for My Mother's Funeral, University of Pittsburgh Press

Dorianne Laux, Judge: “Instructions for My Mother’s Funeral uncovers the mysteries of girlhood in haunting tableaus and synesthesiac encounters with the past and then gradually moves us into the domestic present. The death of a father and re-marriage of a mother, a complicated relationship with a brother, seen through a child’s eyes; a house stoppered like a bottle where she sits alone in the quiet aftermath. Strange in that way all art is strange, light come to light, but always a palpable darkness riding beneath; a mature lyrical voice translating memory’s turbulent, wordless world.”

Laura Read teaches composition, literature, and creative writing courses at Spokane Falls Community College. She has published poems in a variety of journals, most recently in Rattle, the Mississippi Review, Third Wednesday, and the Bellingham Review. Her chapbook, The Chewbacca on Hollywood Boulevard Reminds Me of You, was the 2010 winner of the Floating Bridge Chapbook Award. She lives in Spokane, Washington with her husband, Brad, and their two sons, Benjamin and Matthew.

Instructions for My Mother's Funeral
Short Fiction Jhumpa Lahiri
Corinna Vallianatos

Winner: Corinna Vallianatos  
My Escapee, University of Massachusetts Press

Jhumpa Lahiri, Judge: With the spare, definitive strokes of Matisse’s late portraits, the stories in My Escapee hew precisely to the truth, while rendering a series of expressive and particular female lives. The characters are disoriented, vulnerable, at times dependent on others; they are also determined, defiant, passionate. One admires their self-awareness, one forgives them their imperfections, one feels keenly their isolation. The language is lucid, forceful, in turns unassuming and startling. Read together, these stories navigate an intimate landscape of fault lines, of grottoes of emotions, of stark passages and significant crossings. Vivid, whimsical, and restrained, they introduce a mature voice, an affecting and bracing debut.

Corinna Vallianatos’s stories have appeared in Tin House, McSweeney’s, A Public Space, the Gettysburg Review, Epoch, and elsewhere. She was recently awarded a fellowship from The MacDowell Colony. She lives with her husband and son in Claremont, California.

Short Fiction Finalist: Adrianne Harun- Lost in the War of the Beautiful Lads

My Escapee
Novel Don Lee
Kirstin Scott

Winner: Kirstin Scott
Motherlunge, New Issues Press

Don Lee, Judge: Told with dazzling prose, Motherlunge is a wry, luminous exploration of the legacy of motherhood—here, about the afflictions that may cycle through generations. Thea, the novel’s young narrator, escapes the doldrums of her mother’s manic depression to visit her sister, Pavia, who is pregnant. Yet when Pavia’s behavior begins to echo their mother’s instability, Thea must step in to care for her sister and her baby, and make some decisions about her own burgeoning desire for children. This is a thoroughly engaging novel, with wonderful turns of phrase in every sentence, and its witty humor announces a welcome new voice in American fiction, full of charm and tender wisdom. 

Kirstin Scott won the Original Writing Competition sponsored by the Utah Arts Council, and her stories have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Sonora Review, Western Humanities Review, and elsewhere. She works as a medical writer and lives in Salt Lake City, UT with her husband and two children.

Motherlunge
Nonfiction Susan Orlean
Marcia Aldrich

Winner: Marcia Aldrich
Companion to an Untold Story, University of Georgia Press

Susan Orlean, Judge: Exquisitely sad but painstaking in its clarity, Companion to an Untold Story is an effort to understand a friend’s decision to commit suicide. The author lays out the facts and emotions using the structure of an abecedary, as if the simplicity of a child’s alphabet book could bring logic to the terrible puzzle of loss.  There is no suspense in the outcome, but reading the book draws you in so intimately that you, too, feel an urgent need to understand why an intelligent, likeable man would choose, with great deliberateness, to kill himself. This is a difficult subject, written extraordinarily well: a winner.

Marcia Aldrich teaches creative writing at Michigan State University. She is the author of   Girl Rearing, published by W.W. Norton and part of the Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers Series. She has had essays appear in The Best American Essays, The Beacon Book of Essays by Contemporary American Women, and a wide range of literary magazines such as The North American Review, The Seneca Review, The Gettysburg Review. She has been the editor of Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction. In 2010 she was the recipient of the Distinguished Professor of The Year Award for the state of Michigan.

Creative Nonfiction Finalist: Cole Cohen- Brains

Companion to an Untold Story

2010 Winners

Poetry Alberto Ríos
Quan Barry

Winner: Quan Barry
Water Puppets, University of Pittsburgh Press

Alberto Ríos, Judge: These poems impress with the enormous and energetic distances they travel. More impressive, however, is the focus they show on arrival.  We are everywhere, but everywhere is distinctly somewhere—and often dangerous. These words are the essence of displacement. Yet these poems do not stop there, are not so easy on themselves, speaking in clear voice for the new as well as the past. They relentlessly address their—and our—changing and unchanging world against the loose backdrop of Vietnamese water-puppet theater, whose imaginative traditions show themselves in repeatedly memorable moments. These poems may move on water, but their voices do not falter.

Quan Barry is the author of the poetry collections Asylum and Controvertibles, both published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. She currently teaches at the University of Wisconsin.

Poetry Finalists: David Keplinger- Anatomies; Tana Jean Welch- Cannon Splinter; Josiah Bancroft- The Death of Giants

Water Puppets
Short Fiction Peter Ho Davies
Douglas Light

Winner: Douglas Light
Girls in Trouble, University of Massachusetts Press

Peter Ho Davies, Judge: A collection - any collection, whether of art, or stories, or Hummel figurines - implies two questions. How are these things similar and, more subtley, how are they different? Girls in Trouble, fittingly, takes difference as its great subject - the differences between men and women, here and there, facts and truth. It's the acute, exacting scrutiny of what lies between these pairings - the history between a man and a woman, the mystery between fact and truth, the "somewhere between where we don't want to be and where we're going," as one character puts it - that truly distinguishes this work. From terse and diverse fragments, [the author] has assembled a coherent, echoing vision of the world between - a world we all, in our own ways, inhabit.

Douglas Light is the author of the novel East Fifth Bliss, which won the 2007 Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Fiction. The screen adaptation, which he co-wrote, was filmed in 2010. It stars Golden Globe winner Michael C. Hall, Lucy Liu, Peter Fonda, and Brie Larson. Light received a 2010 NoMAA/JP Morgan writers grant, was selected as a finalist for the 2002 James Jones First Novel Fellowship, and has been published in Narrative, Guernica, Alaska Quarterly Review, Failbetter, among other publications. His fiction was selected for inclusion in O. Henry Prize Stories 2003 and Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003 anthologies.  He lives in New York City. More information is available at www.douglaslight.com.

Short Fiction Finalists: Jim Gavin- Middle Men; Donna Miscolta- Natalie Wood's Fake Puerto Rican Accent and Other Stories

Girls in Trouble
Novel Francine Prose
Mandy Keifetz

Winner: Mandy Keifetz
Flea Circus: A Brief Bestiary of Grief, New Issues Press

Francine Prose, Judge: I was drawn to the sheer strangeness of the writer's project: the lyrical, tough-talking high-low lament of a Jersey Girl who cannot, who will not, and who essentially luxuriates in her refusal to get over the suicide of her lover. A simultaneously reckless and calculated intensity permeates this novel, in which the most important event has already happened, and the narrative arc (if we can call it that) is mostly ruminative and interior. Fairly soon, we realize that the narrator is playing with language, with the alphabet, even; it's not accidental that the epigraph is taken from Georges Bataille. But for me the real surprises were less about letters than about voice, about sentences and about the paragraphs that nearly always ended in a different place (and more interestingly) than I might have predicted.

Mandy Keifetz lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has appeared in Penthouse, Vogue, QW, the Review of Contemporary Fiction, the Comics Journal, Lou-Lou, the New York Press, Our Town, Manhattan Spirit, and many others. Corrido (represented in the U.S. by Malaga Baldi and in the U.K. by Annina Meyerhans at The Marsh Agency; optioned by Laura Phillips at Hanthum Films, U.K.) was her first novel and was favorably reviewed in several journals and on radio shows, and selected as a best first novel out of New York by the Library Journal. Entertainment Weekly called it “an intoxicating cocktail of sex and death.” Keifet was a Fellow with the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2002, and her plays have been staged in London at the Young Vic, in Cambridge at the Junction Theater, and at the Judith E. Wilson Studio, in Montréal at the Théâtre Ste. Catherine, in Oslo at the Samtidsfestivalen, and in New York at Where Eagles Dare Studios. She is an occasional MFA dissertation defense panelist at UMASS, Amherst.

Novel Finalist: Tim Schell - The Memoir of Jake Weedsong

Flea Circus: A Brief Bestiary of Grief
Nonfiction Luis Alberto Urrea
Danielle Cadena Deulen

Winner: Danielle Cadena Deulen
The Riots, University of Georgia Press

Luis Alberto Urrea, Judge: There are moments of transcendent prose in this manuscript that elevates it far beyond what we might expect of it at first blush. It manages to become more profound, and more beautiful, the more desperate and tragic its trajectory. Finally, it is a triumph of wisdom and great art.

Danielle Cadena Deulen is an essayist and poet.  Her first collection of poems, Lovely Asunder, won the Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize and will be published with the University of Arkansas Press in spring 2011.  Formerly, she was a Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow with the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She has received three Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry prizes (2007 , 2008, 2010) and a Virginia Center for Creative Arts fellowship.  Her poetry has appeared most recently in Smartish Pace, Best New Poets 2009, and the Indiana Review, and her essays are forthcoming in the Iowa Review and American Literary Review.  She received her MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University, and is currently a PhD candidate in English at the University of Utah.  

Creative Nonfiction Finalist: Philip Gerard - More Things in Heaven and Earth: True Adventures in This Mysterious Life

The Riots

2009 Winners

Poetry Jean Valentine
Bradley Paul

Winner: Bradley Paul
The Animals All Are Gathering, University of Pittsburgh Press

Jean Valentine, Judge: In this original and wonderfully energetic book, Bradley Paul moves from humor to mockery to play to anger to grief, and sometimes all at once. This poetry shifts, it slams, it hammers, it thinks; it corrodes our sorrow and foolishness; it captures our national haplessness, sad and firing and still.

Bradley Paul was born in Baltimore in 1972. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, his poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Pleiades, Smartish Pace, Boston Review, and other journals. His first book of poetry, The Obvious, was selected by Brenda Hillman for the 2004 New Issues Poetry Prize. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, the painter and writer Karri Paul, and their dog, Violet.

Poetry Finalist: Jennifer Fumiko Cahill, The Fox Bride

The Animals All Are Gathering
Short Fiction Allan Gurganus
Christine Sneed

Winner: Christine Sneed
Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry, University of Massachusetts Press

Allan Gurganus, Judge: If this story-collection crackles with the energy of youth, it also feels written by a cool-eyed soul reincarnated at least three times. The fiction shows a stringent, inevitable sense of narrative patterning. Though these tales are based in quirky character, plot unfolds from them with twists and doublings-back that keep us first off-guard then hooked.
-A young woman accepts money from one suave stranger her grandfather's age. She next offers him quiet erotic favors that soon cut her off from all the usual bad luck–and therefore from her life itself.
-A boy movie star enrolls in a college course. He and his bodyguard swamp the moral eco-system of the class then the ethical confidence of one young woman teacher.
By turns funny and pitiless, these tales amount to a vision. We note how characters' forebears colored and shaped them, for good or ill. The book's voice is unforced in its ready wit, detached compassion. There is an admirable candor. Each character's sexuality seems the natural outcome of a life fully-risked. The collection promises further accomplishment. But it also reveals one talent already enjoying itself–with erotic abandon, a feline completeness.

Christine Sneed is a graduate of the MFA writing program at Indiana University and has published stories in Best American Short Stories 2008, New England Review, Massachusetts Review, Meridian, Other Voices, Greensboro Review, River Styx, Phoebe, South Dakota Review, and several other journals.  She has been awarded an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in poetry and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize four times. She lives in Evanston, IL and teaches creative writing and literature courses at DePaul University in Chicago.

Short Fiction Finalist: Jane Bradley, Are We Lucky Yet?

Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry
Novel Jim Shepard
Kevin Fenton

Winner: Kevin Fenton
Merit Badges, New Issues Press

Jim Shepard, Judge: Merit Badges lays out for the reader an entire, if circumscribed, world, in all of its limitations and surprising possibilities, rendered with a heartening intelligence and tenderness and wit — "The weather was like me, only more so. The weather needed some counseling" — and in so doing reminds us of Simone Weil's understanding that attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.

Kevin Fenton lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and works as an advertising writer and creative director. He has published stories in the Laurel Review, the Northwest Review, and Emprise Review; poetry in the Beloit Poetry Journal, and reviews and essays in Rain Taxi, the design quarterlies Émigré and Eye (London), and the Minneapolis StarTribune. An essay was anthologized in Looking Closer 2: Critical Writing On Graphic Design. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. He serves on the board of two organizations: Rain Taxi Review of Books and the Innocence Project of Minnesota.

Novel Finalist: Stephen Minot, Women of the House

Merit Badges
Nonfiction Lee Gutkind
David Vann

Winner: David Vann
Last Day on Earth, University of Georgia Press

Lee Gutkind, Judge: I hated reading Last Day on Earth, but I kept coming back to it. Each chapter was taut, mysterious and compelling.  And when I did stop reading–I devoured it in three sittings--I was haunted by Steve, a mass murderer, and his slow, steady transformation from Dean's Award winner to shooter.  What makes this book especially appealing is the parallel narrative–the writer living a screwed up childhood, who, like Steve, finds himself in the possession of many guns and the urge to use them and potentially do harm.  What the writer discovers is that the line between self destruction and survival and success is frighteningly easy to cross.  Last Day on Earth is written with a cold staccato passion–with intensive attention to intimacy of detail.  It is riveting reading.'

David Vann’s story collection, Legend of a Suicide, was the winner of the 2007 Grace Paley Prize and a California Book Award and was named a Notable Book of 2008 by the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Kansas City Star, and the Story Prize.  The paperback will come out from HarperCollins in January 2010, the UK and Commonwealth edition from Viking UK in October 2009.  The book will also appear in French and Italian.  A contributor to many journals, Vann is also author of the best-selling memoir, A Mile Down: The True Story of a Disastrous Career at Sea, and a forthcoming novel, Caribou Island (HarperCollins 2011). He’s been featured in documentaries by the BBC, NOVA, and CNN and sold the film rights to his unpublished memoir, Crocodile: Memoirs From a Mexican Drug-Running Port.  He’s been a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, a Wallace Stegner Fellow, and a John L’Heureux Fellow, and has taught at Stanford and Cornell, where he received his degrees, and he is currently a professor at the University of San Francisco.  His website is www.davidvann.com.

Last Day on Earth

2008 Winners

Poetry Lynn Emanuel
Beth Bachmann

Winner: Beth Bachmann
Temper, University of Pittsburgh Press

Lynn Emanuel, Judge:
Beth Bachmann's Temper is an unforgettable first book. Embodied in a poetry that quakes with sorrow one moment and is steely with forensic detail the next--the drainage gate... the tearing/of a pleated skirt— Temper's account of a murder encompasses the polarities of flesh and spirit, love and horror. The drama of this horrifying event, however, is not what is most compelling about Temper. What is most compelling is the way Beth Bachmann presides over the drama with a courage and restraint which manifest themselves as the beauty of these poems.

Beth Bachmann’s poems appear in American Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Kenyon Review, Southern Review, and Tin House, among other journals, and are forthcoming in Ploughshares. Her work has been honored with a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission and has been anthologized in Best New Poets 2005 and 2007. She holds graduate degrees from The Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars and Concordia University in Montreal. She teaches creative writing at Vanderbilt University.

Poetry Finalist: Sam Witt, Occupation: Dreamland

Temper
Short Fiction Jewell Parker Rhodes
Ramola D

Winner: Ramola D
Temporary Lives & Other Stories, University of Massachusetts Press

Jewell Parker Rhodes, Judge:
Temporary Lives is a polished, well-crafted and profound collection worthy of AWP's Grace Paley Award for Short Fiction. Exploring oppressed peoples of India--men and women, across a range of ages-- is no small feat.  The children in "The Next Corpse Collector" are as well-rounded and significant as the suffering wife in Temporary Lives and as textured and evocative as the memory and lingering spirit, Esther, in "Esther." I particularly liked the author's ability to stop time--to reveal in small moments the largeness (and, sometimes, the tragic smallness) of life.  Plot is the moment-to- moment living, breathing actions of characters.  Interior lives are burnished with precise, sensual prose. I loved all the stories in this collection and how the thematic vision of Temporary Lives was fulfilled.

Ramola D teaches creative writing at The George Washington University and The Writer’s Center, Bethesda. Her  short fiction, poetry, and writer-interviews have appeared in several journals. Her fiction was shortlisted under 100 Other Distinguished Stories in Best American Stories 2007, and included in Best American Fantasy 2007 and Enhanced Gravity: More Fiction by Washington DC Women Writers (Paycock Press, 2006). A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in poetry in 2005, her poetry collection Invisible Season won the 1998 Washington Writers’ Publishing House award. Her poetry has been reprinted in Best American Poetry 1994, appeared on metro buses in Arlington, Virginia as winner of a Moving Words poetry competition (April-Sept. 2005), and been translated into dance through Jane Franklin’s Dancing the Page program (April 2006).

Temporary Lives & Other Stories
Novel Joanna Scott
Goldie Goldbloom

Winner: Goldie Goldbloom
Toad's Museum of Freaks and Wonders, New Issues Press

Joanna Scott, Judge:
Toad's Museum of Freaks and Wonders is a strange, mesmerizing tale about characters uncomfortably defined by superficial eccentricities. It is also a wrenching love story.

Goldie Goldbloom's stories have appeared in StoryQuarterly and Narrative Magazine. She lives in Chicago and has eight children.

Toad's Museum of Freaks and Wonders
Nonfiction Kathleen Norris
Sonja Livingston

Winner: Sonja Livingston
Ghostbread, University of Georgia Press

Kathleen Norris, Judge:
“I know where I came from.” With this declaration, the author of Ghostbread takes us on a journey through a childhood scarred by poverty and graced by love. Like an American version of Angela’s Ashes, the book allows us to encounter— and see, taste, and smell it— through the eyes of a beleaguered and intelligent child. We are grateful to be reminded of the human reality at the heart of a world that is all too often hidden in governmental “poverty indicators,” and also glad that the author has survived to tell the tale.

Sonja Livingston’s nonfiction has been honored with a NYFA Fellowship, an Iowa Review Award, Pushcart Prize nomination, and grants from Vermont Studio Center and The Deming Fund, as well as an AWP Intro Award. Her work has appeared in many literary journals including the Iowa Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Southeast Review, AGNI, the Spoon River Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, and is anthologized in SHORT TAKES and THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER. Sonja holds an MFA from the University of New Orleans and an M.S. Ed. from SUNY Brockport. She teaches in UCLA Extension’s Writing Program.

Creative Nonfiction Finalist: Rebecca McClanahan, Coming of (a Certain) Age in New York City: Essays and Exhalations

Ghostbread

2007 Winners

Poetry Bob Hicok
Sharon Dolin

Winner: Sharon Dolin
Burn and Dodge, University of Pittsburgh Press

Bob Hicok, Judge:
"Burn and Dodge is an apt title for this book. Dolin’s poems adroitly move in and out of shadow, shed light, contrast or blend as the context demands. The need to measure is strong in these poems, to examine how we live within the constraints of our emotions and how they get the better of us. Her language is lithe and motored, her meanings channeled by her formal devotions, without ever being reduced to mere accoutrements of form. She writes at the edge of compression with such pop to her lines that I’m reminded of Auden’s definition of — memorable speech."

Sharon Dolin is the author of three books of poems: Realm of the Possible (Four Way Books, 2004), Serious Pink (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003), and Heart Work (The Sheep Meadow Press, 1995), as well as five poetry chapbooks. A poem from her winning poetry manuscript, Burn and Dodge, is forthcoming in the Best American Poetry, 2007, edited by Heather McHugh, and another is in the new Gertrude Stein Awards in Innovative Poetry published by Green Integer. Dolin is Poet-in-Residence at Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts. She has also taught for many years at the Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street in New York City. She directs The Center for Book Arts Annual Letterpress Poetry Chapbook Competition and is a Curator for their Broadsides Reading Series.

Poetry Finalist: Jack Martin, Marimba This, Marimba That

Burn and Dodge
Short Fiction Noy Holland
David Vann

Winner: David Vann
Legend of a Suicide, University of Massachusetts Press

Noy Holland, Judge:
"Legend of a Suicide is a powerful collection of related stories that unfold in, or refer back to, the desolate wilds of Alaska. The desolation of the place is key. The characters in these stories are extreme in their isolation from one another, whether they come together in a howling wind or in the comforts of a warm kitchen. Here is suicide, infidelity, madness; here are people whose skewed optimism about the next love affair, the next career, the next homestead, proves deadly. Their despair is familiar and bewildering and grievous. They are doing the best they can, and it is not enough to answer even the demands of the day. Memory, affection for place, the mangled ways we manage to express the love we feel—this writer is unafraid of the weight and the complication of these things. He is emboldened in these stories, or she is, to fall headlong into the disorienting wilderness of the human heart and mind."

David Vann is author of the bestselling memoir A Mile Down: The True Story of a Disastrous Career at Sea. He has features forthcoming in Esquire, Men’s Journal, Outside, and Outside’s GO. His work has also appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Writer’s Digest, StoryQuarterly, and other magazines and won various awards. Vann has been a Wallace Stegner Fellow and John L’Heureux Fellow, taught at Stanford and Cornell, and is now a professor at FSU. www.davidvann.com

Short Fiction Finalist: Dylan Landis, Normal People Don't Live Like This

Legend of a Suicide
Novel Robert Eversz
Scott Blackwood

Winner: Scott Blackwood
We Agreed to Meet Just Here, New Issues Press

Robert Eversz, Judge:
"We Agreed to Meet Just Here is a lyrical mystery about disappearance, told in precise and luminous prose. A young lifeguard in an unnamed Austin suburb vanishes one night while returning from a screening of The Third Man. A doctor, ill with cancer, goes missing from his home, and is later seen, bearded and ragged, wandering the aisles of a grocery store. A car is stolen, the unseen consequences tragic. One child is given up to adoption, another is lost up a tree. The absences are so keenly felt, in the drifting lucidity of the author’s sentences, that every reappearance reads like a small miracle."

Scott Blackwood's award-winning collection of stories, In the Shadow of Our House, was published by SMU Press in 2001. His fiction has appeared most recently in the Gettysburg Review, Boston Review and Southwest Review, and the title story from his collection is featured on the New York Times Book Review's "First Chapters" website. While on a Dobie-Paisano fellowship in 2005, he completed We Agreed to Meet Just Here, a novel set in the Deep Eddy Neighborhood of Austin, Texas. Blackwood holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University. He currently directs the Roosevelt University MFA Program.

Novel Finalist: Peter Selgin, Life Goes to the Movies

We Agreed to Meet Just Here
Nonfiction Michael Martone
Sharon White

Winner: Sharon White
Vanished Gardens, University of Georgia Press

Michael Martone, Judge:
"Vanished Gardens, like the gardens of Philadelphia it plots so brilliantly in its pages, presents itself as both highly formal and completely natural in its composition and its fruition. It is a book that saturates space, horizontal and vertical, as well as exhausts time. As with all excellent gardens everywhere, everywhere one looks one is delighted, surprised, awed, and restored. And as with all excellent writing about landscape, Vanished Gardens transforms the world before our eyes so that the reader, held in its thrall, begins to see to see."

Sharon White is the author of a collection of poetry, Bone House. Her memoir, Field Notes, A Geography of Mourning, received the Julia Ward Howe Prize, Honorable Mention from the Boston Author’s Club. Other awards include a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction, the Leeway Award for Achievement, a Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in prose. Her poems, essays, and articles have appeared in many magazines and journals including Isotope, House Beautiful, Appalachia, Kalliope and North American Review. She lives in Philadelphia and teaches writing at Temple University.

Creative Nonfiction Finalist: Patrick Madden, Quotidiana

Vanished Gardens

2006 Winners

Poetry Terrance Hayes
Angela Ball

Angela Ball
Night Clerk at the Hotel of Both Worlds

Judge: Terrance Hayes
University of Pittsburgh Press

Angela Ball grew up in Athens, Ohio. She got her bachelor’s degree at Ohio University, studying with Stanley Plumly, and earned an MFA from the University of Iowa and a PhD from the University of Denver before joining the faculty of the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. Honors for Ball’s work have included an Individual Writer’s Grant from the NEA, an Arthur J. Schiable Award from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, a teaching residence at the University of Richmond, and invitations to represent the US at festivals in Rotterdam and Bogata. She is poetry editor of Mississippi Review, and has edited a special International Poetry issue and an issue on Poets of the New York School, among others. Ball’s poems and translations have appeared widely in many well-known journals.  Her previous books of poetry include Kneeling Between Parked Cars (Owl Creek Press, 1990), Possession (Red Hen, 1995), Quartet (Carnegie Mellon, 1995), and The Museum of the Revolution (Carnegie Mellon, 1999). She lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, with her two dogs, Maggie and Scarlet.
Photo Credit: Pier Rodelon

Night Clerk at the Hotel of Both Worlds
Short Fiction Nancy Reisman
Karen Brown

Karen Brown
Pins and Needles

Judge: Nancy Reisman
University of Massachusetts Press

Karen Brown was born in Connecticut, and attended Cornell University and the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she received an MA in Creative Writing, and is currently pursuing a PhD. Her stories have appeared in or are forthcoming from Epoch, the Georgia Review, StoryQuarterly, Ascent, the Tampa Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The O. Henry Prize Stories, 2006.

Pins and Needles
Novel Nicholas Delbanco
Geoff Rips

Geoff Rips
The Truth

Judge: Nicholas Delbanco
New Issues Press

Geoff Rips was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He received his BA from Wesleyan University and an MA in English/Creative Writing from Indiana University. Rips has been the editor of the Texas Observer, worked with colonias on the Texas/Mexico Border to secure water and wastewater services, and, as a Soros Foundation Fellow, wrote about the function of public schools on the Border as a point of entry into US society. Rips has taught night school at San Antonio Community College, served as policy director for Jim Hightower's Texas Department of Agriculture, worked as speechwriter for a handful of decent politicians, and currently serves as director of special projects for Austin, Texas, public schools. Through it all, he has spent many late nights writing fiction and poetry in a room attached to his garage, and has published short stories, poetry, and criticism in small magazines, journals, and newspapers. He lives in Austin with his elementary school principal wife and two mostly grown, nearly perfect daughters.

The Truth
Nonfiction Kyoko Mori
Mort Zachter

Mort Zachter
Dough: A Memoir

Judge: Kyoko Mori
University of Georgia Press

Mort Zachter grew up believing his Lower East Side baker family was poor. At thirty-six, he discovered the family secret: he is a second generation, perhaps even third-generation, millionaire. Dough is his story. His essays have appeared, or are pending, in Fourth Genre, Moment, Weatherwise, and the Kelsey Literary Review. In the spring of 2006, he gave a public reading of his work at the 92nd Street Y in NYC. In a prior life, he was an attorney/CPA and adjunct tax professor at NYU. He lives in Princeton, N.J. with his wife and children.

Dough: A Memoir

2005 Winners

Poetry Ha Jin
John Hodgen

John Hodgen
Grace

Judge: Ha Jin
University of Pittsburgh Press

John Hodgen is a faculty member of the English Department at Assumption college. He is the author of In My Father’s House, winner of the 1993 Bluestem Award from Emporia State University in Kansas, and Bread Without Sorrow (2001) winner of the Balcones Poetry Prize (2002), published by Lynx House Press, Spokane, Washington. He is the winner of the 2005 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize from Hunger Mountain ( Vermont College) and the 2005 Foley Poetry Prize from America Magazine. He is married, with two daughters.

Grace
Short Fiction Ana Menendez
Nona Caspers

Nona Caspers
Heavier Than Air

Judge: Ana Menendez
University of Massachusetts Press

Nona Caspers is an Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University. Her short fiction has received an Iowa Fiction Award from the Iowa Review, a Barbara Deming Memorial Grant and Award, and a Joseph Henry Jackson Literary Grant and Award. Her work has appeared recently in The Iowa Review, Cimarron Review, Blithe House Quarterly, and Fourteen Hills. She is the author of The Blessed and is currently at work on A Book of One Hundred Days.

Heavier Than Air
Novel Rikki Ducornet
John Robinson

John Robinson
Dreaming America

Judge: Rikki Ducornet
New Issues Press

John Robinson is the author of two novels: January’s Dream and Legends of the Lost. His short stories have appeared or will appear in Ploughshares, the Sewanee Review, and other literary journals. As a dramatist, he has had two plays performed in the past year: Through the Looking-Glass Diner and Kansas. Kansas was a finalist/winner in the Boston Globe Drama Festival One-Act Competition, and a finalist in the New England Drama Festival.

Dreaming America
Nonfiction Robin Hemley
J.D. Scrimgeour

J.D. Scrimgeour
Themes for English B

Judge: Robin Hemley
University of Georgia Press

J.D. Scrimgeour coordinates the Creative Writing Program at Salem State College in Salem, Massachusetts. His poetry collection, The Last Miles will be published by Fine Tooth Press in 2005. Essays from Themes For English B have appeared in Boston Globe Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Thought & Action. His essay, “Living the Outfield” won the Writing Baseball contest sponsored by Creative Nonfiction and will appear in the journal’s special issue, “The Anatomy of Baseball.” He lives in Salem with his wife, Eileen FitzGerald, and their two sons.

Themes for English B

2004 Winners

Poetry Alicia Ostriker
Christopher Bursk

Christopher Bursk
The Improbable Swervings of Atoms

Judge: Alicia Ostriker
University of Pittsburgh Press

Chris Bursk, recipient of the NEA, Guggenheim, and Pew Fellowships, is the author or seven books, most recently Cell Count with Texas Tech University Press and Ovid at Fifteen from New Issues Press. He is also the 2004 winner of the 49 th Paralell Poetry Award sponsored by the Bellingham Review. In addition to serving as a volunteer for three decades in the correction system, he teaches at Bucks County Community College. His work has appeared in magazines such as Paris Review, American Poetry Review, Poetry, Manhattan Review, and the Sun. His poem “Ovid at Fifteen,” won the Another Chicago Magazine Award, and his chapbook, Working the Stacks was published by Bachae Press. Bursk holds an MFA from the Warren Wilson MFA Program, and a doctorate from Boston University. He has also been a student in the Vermont College MFA Program and held residencies at MacDowell, Yaddoo, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

The Improbable Swervings of Atoms
Short Fiction Douglas Bauer No winner
Novel Elizabeth McCracken
M. Evelina Galang

M. Evelina Galang

Judge: Elizabeth McCracken
New Issues Press

M. Evelina Galang is the author of Her Wild American Self, a collection of short fiction from Coffee House Press (1996). Her collection’s title story has been short-listed by both Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize. Galang is also the editor of Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, 2003). Recently, Galang's anthology won ForeWord Magazine's Gold Book of the Year Award for 2003. In 2001, she was the Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in the Philippines where she continued her work on Surviving Comfort Women of World War II for her collection of essays, Lolas' House: Women Living with War. Galang teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of Miami.

One Tribe
Nonfiction Suzannah Lessard
David Carkeet

David Carkeet
Campus Sexpot

Judge: Suzannah Lessard
University of Georgia Press

David Carkeet was born and raised in Sonora, California. He has written five novels, Double Negative, The Greatest Slump of All Time, I Been There Before, The Full Catastrophe, and The Error of Our Ways. His essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Poets & Writers, and elsewhere. Among his distinctions are an O. Henry Award and three “Notable Books of the Year” citations from the New York Times Book Review. For many years he taught linguistics and writing at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and edited the University’s literary journal, Natural Bridge. He now lives near Montpelier, Vermont.

Campus Sexpot

2003 Winners

Poetry Stephen Dunn
Barbara Hamby

Barbara Hamby
Babel

Judge: Stephen Dunn
University of Pittsburgh Press

Barbara Hamby has published two books of poems: Delirium (University of North Texas, 1995) which won the Vassar Miller Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award, and the Kate Tufts Award; and The Alphabet of Desire (NYU, 1999) which won the 1998 New York University Poetry Prize and was chosen as one of the 25 best books of 1999 by the New York City Public Library. Her poems have been published in many literary journals and she teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Florida State University at Tallahassee.

Babel
Short Fiction Joan Silber
Doreen Baingana

Doreen Baingana
Tropical Fish

Judge: Joan Silber
University of Massachusetts Press

Doreen Baingana is from Uganda and has lived in the US for 12 years. She has an MFA from the University of Maryland. Her work has appeared in journals such as Chelsea, Glimmer Train, the Sun, Crab Orchard Review, Meridian, and the Potomac Review, and her poetry is included in the anthology, Beyond the Frontier. She received an Artist’s Grant from the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities in 2002. She works for Voice of America radio.

Tropical Fish
Nonfiction Beverly Lowry
Karen Salyer McElmurray

Karen Salyer McElmurray
Mother of the Disappeared:
An Appalachian Birth Mother's Journey

Judge: Beverly Lowry
University of Georgia Press

Karen Salyer McElmurray is originally from Johnson County in Eastern Kentucky. She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Georgia College and State University. She is also the author of a novel, Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven, which received the 2001 Chaffin Award.

Mother of the Disappeared: An Appalachian Birth Mother's Journey

2002 Winners

Poetry Cornelius Eady
Sandra Kohler

Sandra Kohler
The Ceremonies of Longing

"These poems hold a surprising stealth. . . . 'It's just life,' I kept telling myself as I read, but how I admire poets who can take the ordinary and then prove to us, through arresting lyric, that it's anything but."

Cornelius Eady

University of Pittsburgh Press
Judge: Cornelius Eady

Sandra Kohler did her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College and earned a PhD from Bryn Mawr College in 1971. She has taught literature and writing courses at levels ranging from elementary school to university and adult education. Her poems have appeared in many literary reviews including the New Republic, the Southern Review, West Branch, the Massachusetts Review, Calyx, 5 AM, the Hawaii Pacific Review, Sojourner, American Writing, the Ledge, Countermeasures, Prairie Schooner, the Tulane Review, the Gettysburg Review, and the American Poetry Review. She was a recipient of the Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry, awarded by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, twice, in 1985 and 1990. Her first book of poems, The Country of Women, was published in 1995 by Calyx Books. She lives in rural Central Pennsylvania with her husband.

The Ceremonies of Longing
Short Fiction Frederick Busch
Joan Connor

Joan Connor
History Lessons

"This collection demonstrates an enormous linguistic gift, and a passion for the possibilities of language. The rhythms of each sentence are masterfully assured, right for the sound of the sentences around it, and faithful to the emotions and thoughts of the story. Sometimes the characters are presented realistically, sometimes as aspects of American prose, often as expressions of historical events and even linguistic behavior; but the people on these pages are never mere reflections of the writer’s cleverness or (remarkable) knowledge. Every story is different, every story is a voice. While the voices range in tone from stormy to reconciled, most are tinged with genuine humor. And literature is a fact of life in the world of these fictions: Charles Dickens speaks through one character while Branwell Bronte addresses us through another. Aspects of French surrealism, the passion of Spanish locutions, the Midwestern solidities abandoned by Dorothy of Oz, the Wolf Boy’s insights, and an Adam and Eve to rival Twain’s are among the values that speak in this book of voices. But language loved and laid siege to remains the primary speaker throughout. The writer of this book is vastly talented and hungry to tell us stories. History Lessons is a sizzling debut."

Frederick Busch

University of Massahchrsetts Press
Judge: Frederick Busch

Joan Connor is an Associate Professor at Ohio University, and a member of the faculty at the University of Southern Maine's low-residency MFA program. She has published two collections of short stories, Here on Old Route 7 and We Who Live Apart, with the University of Missouri Press. A recipient of an Ohio State Arts Council fellowship, she has published in journals such as the Southern Review, the Kenyon Review, the Gettysburg Review, Shenandoah, TriQuarterly, Manoa, and the North American Review. She lives in Athens, Ohio, and Belmont, Vermont, with her son Kerry.

History Lessons
Nonfiction Sue William Silverman
Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson
Jesus Sound Explosion

"Mark Anderson has magically brought together two only apparently opposing worlds—a passion for pop music and his boyhood as an evangelical preacher's son—in this winning memoir. What a beauty it is, by turns searching and hilarious. This is not just another coming-of-age story. Anderson 's eloquent and fresh reflection on the wild ride American culture—and the American family—has taken in the past quarter century introduces a welcome new voice."

Patricia Hampl

Judge: Sue William Silverman
University of Georgia Press

Mark Anderson's writing has appeared in Spout, Nightbeat, Buzz, and the Minnesota Daily. He has clerked at The Electric Fetus Record Store, and drummed in Twin Cities bands including Oren Goby, Bad Trip, the Idlewilds, and the House of Mercy Band. He earned his MFA at the University of Minnesota, and he currently teaches writing at the University of Minnesota's General College. He lives in St. Paul.

Jesus Sound Explosion

2001 Winners

Poetry Marilyn Chin
Gray Jacobik

Gray Jacobik
Brave Disguises

Judge: Marilyn Chin
University of Pittsburgh Press

Gray Jacobik’s book, The Double Task (Univ. of Massachusetts Press, 1998), received The Juniper Prize and was nominated for The James Laughlin Award and The Poet’s Prize. Her most recent book, The Surface of Last Scattering (Texas Review Press, 1999), received the X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize. She earned her PhD from Brandeis University. She is professor of literature at Eastern Connecticut State in Willimantic, and currently lives in Pomfret, Connecticut.

Brave Disguises
Short Fiction Frederick Barthelme
Christie Hodgen

Christie Hodgen
A Jeweler’s Eye for Flaw

Judge: Frederick Barthelme
University of Massachusetts Press

Christie Hodgen was born in Worcester, Massachusetts and attended the University of Virginia and Indiana University. She lives with her husband in Columbia, Missouri, where she is pursuing a PhD at the University of Missouri. Her work has appeared in New Stories from the South 2001 and Scribner’s Best of the Fiction Workshops 1999. Her awards include the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction, the Ernest Hemingway Days Festival Short Story Prize, and the Quarterly West Novella Prize, among others.

A Jeweler’s Eye for Flaw
Nonfiction Barry Sanders
Jill Christman

Jill Christman
Darkroom: An Autobiography

Judge: Barry Sanders
University of Georgia Press

Jill Christman earned her MFA at the University of Alabama, and now works as the Coordinator of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Minnesota. The first chapter of Dark room appeared in the Summer 2001 issue of River City.

Darkroom: An Autobiography

2000 Winners

Poetry Li-Young Lee
Joanie V. Mackowski

Joanie V. Mackowski
The Zoo

Judge: Li-Young Lee
University of Pittsburgh Press

Joanie V. Mackowski attended Wesleyan University, the University of Washington, and most recently was a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her work has appeared in Poetry and The Paris Review.

The Zoo
Short Fiction Jill McCorkle
Michelle Richmond

Michelle Richmond
The Girl in the Fall-Away Dress

Judge: Jill McCorkle
University of Massachusetts Press

Michelle Richmond’s fiction has appeared in Gulf Coast, The Florida Review, Fish Stories, and various anthologies. She has received fellowships from the Michener Foundation and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She lives in San Francisco, California.

The Girl in the Fall-Away Dress
Novel
Alexander Parsons

Alexander Parsons
Leaving Disneyland

St. Martin's Press

Alexander Parsons was born in London, England, and has lived most of his life in New Mexico. He teaches and writes at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. He holds degrees from Wesleyan University, New Mexico State University, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Leaving Disneyland
Nonfiction Sven Birkerts
Brian Lennon

Brian Lennon
City: An Essay

Judge: Sven Birkerts
University of Georgia Press

Brian Lennon was born in New York City in 1971 and educated at Wesleyan University, The University of Iowa, and Columbia University, where he is a doctoral candidate in English and Comparative Literature.

City: An Essay

1999

Poetry Dorianne Laux Connie Voisine Cathedral of the North
Short Fiction Larry Woiwode C.J. Hribal The Clouds in Memphis
Novel Thomas Dunne Aaron Roy Even Bloodroot
Nonfiction Judith Kitchen Lia Purpura Increase

1998

Poetry Marvin Bell Edward Kleinschmidt Mayes Works & Days
Short Fiction Diane Glancy Bonnie Jo Campbell Women & Other Animals
Novel St. Martin's Press No winner
Nonfiction Kathleen Norris Michael Martone The Flatness & Other Landscapes

1997

Poetry Arthur Vogelsang Josie Rawson Quarry
Short Fiction Robert Boswell Toni Graham The Daiquiri Girls
Novel St. Martin's Press No winner
Nonfiction James Galvin Peter Chilson Riding the Demon Road

1996

Poetry Jorie Graham Michelle Glazer It Is Hard to Look At What We Came to Think
Short Fiction George Cuomo Charlotte Bacon A Private State
Nonfiction Lucy Grealy Marilyn Moriarty Moses Unchained

1995

Poetry Olga Broumas Rick Noguchi The Ocean Inside Kenji Takezo
Short Fiction Lorrie Moore David Jauss Black Maps
Novel Ron Carlson Steven Bloom No New Jokes
Nonfiction Adam Hochschild Sue William Silverman Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You

1994

Poetry William Matthews Ruth Schwartz Accordion Breathing and Dancing
Short Fiction Elizabeth Tallent A. Manette Ansay Read This and Tell Me What It Says
Novel Elizabeth Cox Tracy Daugherty What Falls Away
Nonfiction Patricia Hampl William Van Wert Memory Links

1993

Poetry Carolyn Forché Reginald Shepherd Some Are Drowning
Short Fiction Grace Paley E. Bumas Significance
Novel Josephine Humphreys Mary Gardner Boat People
Nonfiction Phillip Lopate Michael Stephens Green Dreams: Under the Influence of the Irish

1992

Poetry Lucille Clifton Suzanne Gardinier The New World
Short  Fiction Bret Lott Daniel Lyons The First Snow
Novel Alison Lurie William Cobb The Fire Eaters
Nonfiction Stanley Lindberg Fred Setterberg Unpaved Nations: Travels Through America's Literary Landscapes

1991

Poetry Ron Wallace Betsy Sholl The Red Line
Short  Fiction Antonya Nelson Jack Driscoll Wanting Only to be Heard
Novel Richard Bausch No winner 
Nonfiction Scott Russell Sanders Phyllis Barber How I Got Cultured

1990

Poetry Ellen Bryant Voigt Kathleen Peirce A Living Room
Short  Fiction Ron Hansen Karen Brennan Wild Desire
Novel Bob Shacochis Lamar Herrin The Lies Boys Tell
Nonfiction Bob Atwan Philip Garrison Augury

1989

Poetry Alice Fulton Belle Waring Refuge
Short Fiction Charles Baxter Susan Hubbard Walking on Ice

1988

Poetry Gerald Stern Christopher Davis The Tyrant of the Past
Short  Fiction David Huddle Roland Sodowsky Things We Lose
Novel Toby Olson Duff Brenna Mamie Beaver
Nonfiction Gloria Emerson Richard Terrill Saturday Night in Baoding

1987

Poetry Linda Pastan Robin Behn Paper Bird
Short  Fiction Francois Camoin Anne Finger Basic Skills
Novel John Williams No winner
Nonfiction David McKain Diane Ackerman Spellbound: Growing Up in God's Country

1986

Poetry James Whitehead & Dara Wier Judith Hemschemeyer The Ride Home
Short  Fiction Robley Wilson, Jr. & Irene Skolnick Jesse Lee Kercheval The Dogeater: Stories
Novel George Cuomo Kenn Robbins Buttermilk Bottoms
Nonfiction Irene Skolnick & Robley Wilson, Jr. No winner

1985

Poetry John Frederick Nims No winner
Short  Fiction Ann Beattie No winner
Novel Margaret Atwood Mack Faith The Warrior's Gift
Nonfiction Susan Fromberg Schaeffer Scott R. Sanders The Paradise of Bombs

1984

Poetry James Tate Sandra Alcosser A Fish to Feed All Hunger
Short  Fiction Paul Bowles Rod Kessier Off in Zimbabwe
Novel George Garrett William Holinger The Fence-Walker
Nonfiction Annie Dillard Will Baker Mountain Blood

1983

Poetry Josephine Jacobsen Lisa Ress Flight Patterns
Short  Fiction Donald Barthelme Charles Baxter Harmony of the World
Novel Theodore Solotaroff Doug Finn Heart of a Family

1982

Poetry W.D. Snodgrass Alice Fulton Dance Script With Electric Ballerina
Short  Fiction Raymond Carver Alvin Greenberg Delta q
Novel Gail Godwin John Solensten Good Thunder

1981

Poetry William Meredith Paul Nelson Days Off
Short  Fiction Stanley Elkin Francois Camoin The End of the World is Los Angeles
Novel John Irving No winner

1980

Poetry Maxine Kumin William Carpenter The Hours of Morning
Short  Fiction Joyce Carol Oates Eugene Garber Metaphysical Tales
Novel Hortense Calesher Mary Elsie Robertson After Freud

1979

Poetry Donald Justice James Applewhite Following Gravity
Short  Fiction Richard Yates Ian MacMillan Light and Power

1978

Poetry Robert Penn Warren Jeanne Larsen James Cook in Search of Terra Incognita
Short  Fiction Wallace Stegner Rebecca Kavaler The Further Adventure of Brunhild 

1977

Poetry Elizabeth Bishop Phyllis Janowitz Rites of Strangers

1976

Poetry James Wright Robert Huff The Ventriloquist

1975

Poetry Richard Eberhart David Walker Moving Out