Author Archives: William Warren

Announcing the Winners of the 2020 Arts & Letters Prizes in Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, & Poetry

Arts & Letters Prize for Fiction:

Desiree Evans, “Flesh”

Judge: Devi Laskar

“I found such strong work in the finalists for this prize–each of the authors should be very proud. My choice for the prize is “Flesh,” a compelling story and a page-turner. As a reader I could follow Bootleg for another 200 pages.”

Finalists: Stephanie Gangi, “The Rescue,” Emma Wunsch, “Pick Up,” and Ann Harleman, “The Middle Distance.”

Susan Atefat Prize for Creative Nonfiction:

Lauren Henley, “Drive! (you’re lost little girl, you’re lost)”

Judge: Jason Allen

“Drive!” welcomes us to drive through a cinematic vision of the American desert, the author’s lush language effectively enlivening the dust and gnarled branches and precarious mountain roads that for all her life she’s longed to escape. Not only did I appreciate inhabiting this sunbaked landscape, I was impressed by how the author pulled me in close enough to fully empathize, her psychic and physical pain somehow conveyed without sliding into self-pity as her unspecified illness continues to progress. This is a truly moving essay.”

Finalists: Ruth Gila Berger, “Take one, take two, this isn’t working” and Millie Tullis, “Her Body as Petals: A Lyric Bibliography.”

Rumi Prize for Poetry:

Karyna McGlynn, “I Stand Outside This Woman’s Work,” “Love Song to a Wicked Stepsister Who Peaked in the 80s,” and “Upon Being Shot by the Shrink Ray”

Judge: Cate Marvin

“Any poet who manages to get a VC Andrews book into one poem, and to write another poem from the depths of the bottom of her own handbag, has my respect. Perverse celebrations of self-recognition, these poems are hilarious and exquisitely detailed, reminding us that poetry can be a hell of a lot of fun, when we let it.”

Finalists: Sarah Sousa, Caroline Bock, Lynda Kong, S. Yarberry, and Jessica Dionne

Each winner receives $1000; the winning work will appear in our Fall issue.

Pandemic Operations

We hope you’re staying safe and doing well during these troubling times. Because of the current circumstances, our response times are a bit slowed,
but we will continue to read submissions for our annual prizes.
We have extended the prize submissions period to end on April 15th.
Please take care, physically and mentally.

Issue 40

Spring 2020
Order Online

Digital Issue

Unclassifiable Prize Winner

Jenni Moody
The Sound of Her Voice


Nicholas Montemarano

George Singleton
Figure Out the Boundaries

Kartika Budhwar
Last Walk in Assam


Jared Harél
A Moving Grove
My Life

M. Soledad Caballero
Cell Sisters


Michael Salcman
Visiting My Father in His Final Illness
Event Horizon

Wes Civilz
First Thing
The Walk

Susan Terris
Why Be a Tiger Fish if I Can Be a Tiger
Bridging the Bayou

Diane Louie
The Lucy Sequence

Stephen Haven
Old Church Photograph
Salem Easter

Allison Adair 
Obituary for the Woman Left Behind
My Mother Asks Why I Never Write About the Good Times
Winter on Plum Island

Creative Nonfiction

Karen Palmer
According to the Map

Walter Cummins


Marya Hornbacher
Excerpt from a Conversation on Metaphor/ A Seduction

Francisco González
An Outline of Wellness

Laura Newbern
Creative Nonfiction Editor

Kerry Neville
Fiction Editor
Jason Allen
Poetry Editors
Molly Brodak
Managing Editors
Jennifer Watkins & Dalton Monk
Assistant Managing Editor
William Warren
Assistant Editors
Moriah Bray
William Gerdes-McClain
James Cody Phenis
Corey Cummings
Caleb Bouchard