18th Annual Arts & Letters Prize Winners Announced!

2016 Prize Announcement

Watch for Drama Prize winners to be announced July 1st!

Congratulations to the winners of our 2016 Prize contests, each of whom will receive $1000 and publication in the upcoming Fall issue of Arts & Letters:

Rumi Prize for Poetry
Judge: Carol Frost
WINNER: Jude Nutter, for “Ianua: Day Zero Plus Three” and “Ianua: Day Zero Plus Twenty-One”

“The poems in every [finalist] group show evidence of a poet’s passion for the sounds of words and for the art and imagination in varying mixtures that may result in that prickling feeling on the back of the neck that a reader feels when the poem is that good; but in [this] entry, the achievement is most through and through. I like the poems very much, not only for the elements I described but also for their heart. Congratulations to the poet.”

—Carol Frost


Jessica Guzman Alderman
Leeya Mehta
Laura Sobbott Ross
Emily Cole
Gayle Kaune
Sally Derringer
Roy Mash


Fiction Prize
Judge: Kate Christensen
WINNER: Micah Hicks, for “The Deer”

 “‘The Deer’… is breathtaking and original and gorgeous. Striking, unerring, weird. I was so glad the writer didn’t tip his or her hand, ever: the reality of the story is unbroken. ‘The Deer’ is a riveting fable in its own right, but it also leaves me with a larger sense of a profound human struggle, something universal and shared having to do with our lost connection to our animal natures, our need to dominate and domesticate, because we can’t go back, we can’t regain what we gave up to be human.”

—Kate Christensen


Anne Holbrook, for “Tink’s Town”
Adrienne Bernhard, for “A Fable in Two Parts”
Laine Cunningham, for “The Butterfly Tree”


Susan Atefat Prize for Creative Nonfiction
Judge: Faith Adiele
WINNER: Dawn Davies, for “Mothers of Sparta”

“‘Mothers of Sparta’…is sprawling, tackling topics that seem impossible to write or even contemplate. The author searches medicine, social policy, psychology, ethics, history, mythology and literature for answers. Demonstrating fearlessness and narrative control through repetition, questions and dry wit, she starts humorously and light, then ramps up the horror and dread.” 

—Faith Adiele


Cate Hennessey, for “Chasing Rabbits”
Clinton Peters, for “Giving Fire”
Kelly Allen, for “Some of Us Are Dogs on the Verge of Speaking”

Congratulations to all of our finalists! Prize submissions will reopen February 2017.

This entry was posted in Arts & Letters News. Bookmark the permalink.