december, the editors publish the winners of their 2014 writing awards. The Jeff Marks Memorial Poetry Prize was created "to recognize and honor the role played by Sherwin Jeffrey (S.J.) marks in establishing this magazine's poetry aesthetic, which endures today." Stephen Berg, founder of the American Poetry Review and close friend of Marks, served as the judge this year. "Berg made choices that Marks might easily have made himself. Both poems confront gritty realities of isolation and mortality, eschewing sentimentality while holding fast to notions of hope and determination."
Greg Jensen: "Anybody Mentions the Pope"
Dina Elenbogen: "A New Year"
Jack Anderson, David Clewell, Hannah Cohen, Michael Collins, Michelle Deatrick, Dina Elenbogen, Eric Greinek, Marcia Hurlow, Daisy Kincaid, Donald Levering, Moira Linehan, Colleen McElroy, Annette Opalczynski, Jill Osier, Frederick Pollack, Marcia Popp, Kathleen Tibetts, Kari Wergeland, Sarah Winn
The Curt Johnson Prose Awards in Fiction and Creative Nonfiction is named after Johnson who edited the magazine from 1962 until 2008. "He filled the magazine with the work of writers and artists he knew and those he'd never met, concentrating on work he felt deserved, even needed, to be heard." Mary Helen Stefaniak served as the fiction judge this year and "adhered to values almost identical to those Johnson espoused over the years." And William Kittridge judged the nonfiction, which both pieces he says are "studies in the ways we become emotionally isolated"
Jim Nichols: "Owls"
Fiction Honorable Mention
Michael Fertik: "Hunting in Nangarhar"
Creative Nonfiction Winner
Garet Lahvis: "NQR"
Creative Nonfiction Honorable Mention
Jenny McKeel: "Saigon"