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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.

Meet Visiting Writer, Poet Jericho Brown

We are so thrilled to have Jericho Brown join us on campus this Monday, November 3, at 7:30 pm, as part of GCSU’s creative writing program’s Visiting Writers series. Jericho Brown is the recipient of the Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems have appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Best American Poetry, and Nikki Giovanni’s 100 Best African American Poems.

Brown holds a PhD from the University of Houston, an MFA from the University of New Orleans, and a BA from Dillard University. His first book, Please, won the American Book Award, and his second book, The New Testament, was published by Copper Canyon Press. He is an assistant professor in the creative writing program at Emory University in Atlanta. You can read more about Jericho and his works at his website.