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Published March 28, 2016
explicit lyrics andrew gentFor almost a quarter century, The University of Arkansas Press annually has awarded the $5,000 Miller Williams Poetry Prize. The prize and series, edited by Billy Collins, are named for and honor the cofounder and director of the press, Miller Williams.

At the beginning of March, the 2016 winner, [explicit lyrics] by Andrew Gent, was released: “As the title indicates, these poems are lyrics—musings on the small decisions required by existence in the modern world. They contain the grand themes of art—life, love, and mortality—but not where you expect.”
 
To buy a copy or to listen to a selection from [explicit lyrics], head over to the University of Arkansas Press website.

[quote from publisher’s website]
Published March 24, 2016
pike and bloom matthew nyeEach year, Lake Forest College awards its Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize to writers under forty with no major book publication. Winners spend three weeks in residence at the campus in Chicago’s northern suburbs. While there, writers spend their time completing a manuscript to be published by &NOW Books, an imprint of Lake Forest College Press.

Matthew Nye was the 2014 winner and his novel Pike and Bloom was published in February. An American odyssey in miniature, Pike and Bloom maps the trajectories of three characters—Pike, Bloom, and Bloom’s wife Clytie—as they spiral through “the serious blues of Indianapolis,” attempting to construct meaning from the absurd.

 Readers can learn more about Pike and Bloom at Northwestern University Press’s website.
Published March 17, 2016
battle sleep shannon tate jonasBrick Road Poetry Book Contest is awarded annually, winners receiving a contract with Brick Road Poetry Press, $1,000, and 25 copies of their published book.

In 2014, Shannon Tate Jonas took home the prize with his collection Battle Sleep, which was published January 21, 2016. This is Jonas’s first book-length collection of poetry with copies available from the Brick Road Poetry Press website.
Published February 23, 2016
richard 1The American Indian Library Association (AILA) has selected “Little You” (2013), published by Orca Book Publishers, written by Richard Van Camp [pictured] and illustrated by Julie Flett as the 2016 Best Picture Book; “In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse” (2015), published by Amulet Books and written by Joseph Marshall III as the 2016 Best Middle School Book, and “House of Purple Cedar” (2014) Cinco Puntos Press, written by Tim Tingle as the 2016 Best Young Adult Book.

The American Indian Youth Literature Awards are presented every two years. The awards were established as a way to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians. Books selected to receive the award will present American Indians in the fullness of their humanity in the present and past contexts. For a full list of Honor Books as well as a printable color brochure of the award winners, visit the AILA website.
Published January 27, 2016
black maria aracelis grimayIn April 2016, Aracelis Girmay’s The Black Maria will start hitting bookshelves. Winner of a 2015 Whiting Award for Poetry, The Black Maria “investigates African diasporic histories, the consequences of racism within American culture, and the question of human identity.”

The Whiting Award Selection Committee says the collection is “always in service of a moral vision, a deep concern for who we are, who we have been.”

Copies of The Black Maria can be pre-ordered from BOA Editions LTD website.

[quotes from BOA Editions LTD website] 
Published January 27, 2016
beautiful zero jennifer willoughbyThe winner of Milkweed Editions’s 2015 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, Beautiful Zero by Jennifer Willoughby, is now available. Chosen by Dana Levin, this debut collection is filled with wit and humor and promises relief from the seriousness of real life. Levin likens the collection to “a buoy in the sea at bottom, a life preserver, a raft.”

Those needing a pick-me-up in the middle of these dark winter months can find copies of Beautiful Zero at the Milkweed Editions website.
Published January 27, 2016
loss of all lost things amina gautierDue out at the beginning of February is the winner of the Elixir Press Award in Fiction, The Loss of All Lost Things by Amina Gautier.

The collection explores moments of loss and yearning in its fifteen short stories that, according to contest judge Phong Nguyen, “have you by the throat [ . . . ].”

Readers can have a small peek inside The Loss of All Lost Things and order a copy at the SPD website.
Published January 13, 2016
last words of the holy ghost matt cashionIn November 2015, the winners of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction and the 2014 Noemi Press Book Award for Fiction were published.

Last Words of the Holy Ghost by Matt Cashion placed first in the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction through the University of North Texas Press. Chosen by Lee K. Abbott, the collection of 12 Southern Gothic short stories was released November 15. This is Cashion’s first short story collection.

Nate Liederbach’s short story collection Beasts You’ll Never See, winner of the 2014 Noemi Press Book Award for Fiction, “seeks to unearth the inevitable paradoxes of comedy and tragedy lurking under the skin of every human relationship, and it does so while also challenging its reader to question the emotional mechanisms that underpin conventional narratives.”

[Quote from SPD website.]

 
Published January 13, 2016
Three new titles for Hemingway lovers from The Kent State University Press:

hemingways spainHemingway's Spain: Imagining the Spanish World - a collection of thirteen essays edited by Carl P. Eby and Mark Cirino. The collection explores "Hemingway’s writing about Spain and his relationship to Spanish culture and ask us in a myriad of ways to rethink how Hemingway imagined Spain—whether through a modernist mythologization of the Spanish soil, his fascination with the bullfight, his interrogation of the relationship between travel and tourism, his involvement with Spanish politics, his dialog with Spanish writers, or his appreciation of the subtleties of Spanish values. . . a particular strength of Hemingway’s Spain is its consideration of neglected works, such as Hemingway’s Spanish Civil War stories and The Dangerous Summer."

hemingway warTeaching Hemingway and War edited by Alex Vernon - fifteen original essays on such topics as:

The Violence of Story: Teaching In Our Time and Narrative Rhetoric
Hemingway’s Maturing View of the Spanish Civil War
Robert Jordan’s Philosophy of War in For Whom the Bell Tolls
Hemingway, PTSD, and Clinical Depression
Perceptions of Pain in The Sun Also Rises
Across the River and into the Trees as Trauma Literature

The final section provides three undergraduate essays examples.

hemingway modernismTeaching Hemingway and Modernism edited by Joseph Fruscione presents "concrete, intertextual models for using Hemingway’s work effectively in various classroom settings, so students can understand the pertinent works, definitions, and types of avant-gardism that inflected his art. The fifteen teacher-scholars whose essays are included in the volume offer approaches that combine a focused individual treatment of Hemingway’s writing with clear links to the modernist era and offer meaningful assignments, prompts, and teaching tools."
Published January 06, 2016
latina authorsEditor of Latina Authors and Their Muses Mayra Calvani was inspired to create an anthology showcasing Latina authors writing in English in the United States. She writes in her Editor’s Preface that she envisioned “An inspirational, entertaining, and informative tome focusing on the craft of writing and the practical business of publishing, one that would provide aspiring authors with the nuts and bolts of the business. A book that would not only showcase prominent figures but emerging voices as well, writers working on a wide range of genres from the literary to the commercial.”

After submitting the book proposal to numerous agents, Calvani signed with one who spent a year pitching the book to top editors before the agent gave up. Publishers, Calvani was told, thought the audience was “too niche, too narrow” (How could the publisher possible market such a book?).

Latina Authors and Their Muses found a home with Lida Quillen of Twilight Times Books in Kingsport, Tennessee. The book, Calvani writes, “has been a labor of love in every aspect. It has also been a completely selfish project. I wanted to hear what these authors had to say, hoping I wasn't alone. I wanted to relate to them and learn from them – and learn I have, so very much! In a way, they've all become my mentors.”

The book features interviews with 40 Latina authors, including Marta Acosta, Julia Amante, Jennifer Cervantes, Zoraida Córdova, Sarah Cortez, Liz DeJesus, Teresa Dovalpage, Iris Gomez, Rose Guilbault, Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa, Josefina López, Sandra Ramos O'Briant, Caridad Piñeiro, Toni Margarita Plummer, Lupe Ruiz-Flores, Esmeralda Santiago and Diana Rodriguez Wallach.

Calvani notes, “In spite of their different backgrounds, education levels, and jobs, two factors more than any others bind these writers together: their passion and commitment to their craft and to sharing their stories with the world in spite of the odds.”
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