The Pushcart Prize series, published every year since 1976, is the most honored literary project in America. Little magazine and small book press editors may make up to six nominations from their year’s publications in poetry, short fiction, and essays. Hundreds of presses and thousands of writers of short stories, poetry and essays have been represented in the annual collections.
Other 2014 Pushcart Prize winners in poetry include Carl Phillips, Natasha Trethewey, Mary Ruefle, Bob Hicok, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Matthew Dickman, Saeed Jones, and Louise Glück. The awards are presented annually to authors in poetry and prose.
For a full list of 2014 Pushcart Prize winners, visit The Rankings.
Austin, TX - The Writers' League of Texas has announced the winners of the 2010 WLT Book Awards honoring outstanding books published in the United States. The awards are presented annually to authors in four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Literary Prose and Poetry, and Children's Books. The 2010 winners are:
Fiction: Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories, by Lorraine M. Lopez, Nashville, TN (BkMk Press, University of Missouri-Kansas City, November 2009)
Nonfiction: Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life, by Bill Minutaglio and W. Michael Smith, Austin, TX (PublicAffairs, November 2009)
Children's: Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, by Phillip Hoose, Portland, ME (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, January 2009)
Poetry & Literary Prose: Quiver, by Susan B.A. Somers-Willett, Montclair, NJ (University of Georgia Press, March 2009)
(For more details on the winners, please see below)
The winners each receive a commemorative award and a cash prize of $1,000. The 2010 Writers' League of Texas Book Awards contest is sponsored by the University Co-op. The WLT extends its heartfelt gratitude to the Co-op for their support and generosity. "The Writers' League is pleased to continue the tradition of recognizing excellence in books," said WLT Executive Director Cyndi Hughes. "This year's contest had the most submissions ever, and once again, the quality of the books is outstanding. We would also like to thank University Co-op for returning as a sponsor of the contest."
Until 2008 the Writers' League of Texas Book Awards were known as the Violet Crown Awards and the Teddy Children's Book Awards. Past winners for fiction and nonfiction include University of Oklahoma professor, novelist, and fiction writer Rilla Askew, Texas Monthly columnist and novelist Sarah Bird, mystery author Mary Willis Walker, novelist Amanda Eyre Ward, novelist Clay Reynolds, poet Jack Myers, journalist Carlton Stowers, and NPR commentator Marion Winik. Past children's winners have included Kathi Appelt, Diane Gonzalez Bertrand, Angela Shelf Medearis, Kimberly Willis Holt, John Erickson, and Margo Rabb.
The League is now accepting submissions for the 2011 Book Awards for books published in 2010. Guidelines and entry forms are posted on the Writers' League Web site at www.writersleague.org.
The Writers' League of Texas is a nonprofit professional organization that provides a community for information, support, and sharing among writers. The organization assists its 1,400 members throughout the United States in improving and marketing their writing. Among the League's signature initiatives are the annual Writers' League of Texas Agents Conference, the annual Writers' League of Texas Book Awards, Project WISE (Writers in Schools for Enrichment), and the Summer Writing Retreat in Alpine, along with ongoing workshops and classes.The Writers' League of Texas is funded in part by the City of Austin, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more, visit the League's Web site at www.writersleague.org.
About the 2010 WLT winners:
Phillip Hoose is the widely-acclaimed author of books, essays, stories, songs, and articles, including the National Book Award and Newbery Honor winning book, Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice.
Hoose is also the author of the multi-award winning title, The Race to Save the Lord God Bird, the National Book Award Finalist, We Were There Too!: Young People in U.S. History, and the Christopher Award-winning manual for youth activism, It's Our World, Too!
A graduate of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, Hoose has been a staff member of The Nature Conservancy since 1977, dedicated to finding and protecting habitats of endangered species. A songwriter and performing musician, Phillip Hoose is a founding member of the Children's Music Network and a member of the band Chipped Enamel. He lives in Portland, Maine.
Lorraine M. Lopez is an associate editor of the Afro-Hispanic Review and an associate professor of English teaching in the MFA program in creative writing at Vanderbilt University. Her short story collection, Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories (Curbstone Press), won the inaugural Miguel Marmól Prize for fiction. Her second book, Call Me Henri (Curbstone Press), was awarded the Paterson Prize for Young Adult Literature, and her novel, The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters (Grand Central Press), was a Borders/Las Comadres selection for the month in 2008. López's short story collection, Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories (BkMk Press), was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Prize in Fiction in 2010. She has also edited a collection of essays titled An Angle of Vision: Women Writers on Their Poor or Working-Class Roots (University of Michigan Press). Her forthcoming works include a novel, The Realm of the Hungry Spirits, due out from Grand Central Press in May 2011, and a collection of essays, The Other Latino, co-edited with Blas Falconer, which will be released in fall of 2011 from the University of Arizona Press.
Bill Minutaglio is the author and co-author of several nonfiction books, most recently In Search of the Blues: A Journey to the Soul of Black Texas, which has been selected as a Book of the Month selection by the Bob Bullock State History Museum's Book It, Texas! Club (and will be read by book club members in February). He is co-author of Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life, which is the winner of The Writers' League of Texas' nonfiction book award for 2010. He is author of biographies of President George W. Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, as well as City on Fire, a narrative nonfiction book about the greatest industrial disaster in American history. His books have been published in China, optioned by actor Tom Cruise and excerpted by The New York Times and other publications. Esquire named City on Fire one of the greatest tales of survival ever written. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, Esquire, Texas Monthly, Outside, Details, Men's Health, The Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists and many other publications. He is a clinical professor of journalism at The University of Texas at Austin and a columnist for The Texas Observer.
W. Michael Smith was Molly Ivins's researcher and assistant for six years. He has worked with the Fort Worth Star Telegram, writer Gail Sheehy and staffers from the New York Times, the BBC, PBS Frontline, and ARD Germany.
Susan B.A. Somers-Willett is the author of two critically acclaimed books of poetry and a book of criticism. Her first book of poetry, Roam, won the Crab Orchard Review Award series in 2006 and was a finalist for the Helen C. Smith Memorial Award for poetry. Her second book, Quiver, published in 2009 with the University of Georgia Press as part of the VQR Series in Poetry, received the 2010 Writers' League of Texas Book Award. Her book of criticism, The Cultural Politics of Slam Poetry: Race, Identity, and the Performance of Popular Verse in America (University of Michigan Press, 2009) has been cited by TheGlobe and Mail and The New York Times. Somers-Willett's writing has been featured in The Iowa Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Gulf Coast, Poets & Writers, and The New Yorker.
Somers-Willett holds an A.B. from Duke University, and an M.A. in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of Texas at Austin. She has received fellowships from the Millay Colony for the Arts and the Center for Arts in Society. Her other honors include the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize, the Robert Frost Foundation Poetry Award, VQR's Emily Clark Balch Poetry Prize, a Gracie Award, and a Pushcart nomination. She currently teaches creative writing and poetics as an assistant professor of english at Montclair State University in New Jersey.
To schedule interviews, or obtain images please contact Jan Baumer at email@example.com or 512-499-8914.
Headquarters Contact: Amy Lotz, AWRT,
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February 24, 2010 (McLean, VA) – With a strong commitment
to recognizing the accomplishments of all markets of talent, as
well as the next generation of media stars, American Women in Radio
and Television (AWRT) is pleased to announce the 2010 local market,
public and student winners of the annual Gracie Awards. The winners
will be recognized at an industry luncheon on Wednesday, May 26,
2010, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Los Angeles, CA. After more than
three decades in New York, the Gracies will be delivering its message
of empowerment to a Los Angeles audience when the Gracie Awards
The Gracies recognize exemplary programming created for women, by women and
about women in all facets of electronic media, as well as individuals
who have made contributions to the industry. The awards program
also encourages the realistic and multifaceted portrayal of women
in entertainment, commercials, news, features and other programs.
Each year, the Gracies attracts the best and brightest in radio,
television, cable and new media. This year’s local, public
and student winners include KXAS’ Deborah Ferguson, George
Washington University’s Engage, Enlighten and Educate, KRTK’s
Heart of the Huddle, WNYC’s In Verse: Women of Troy, Minnesota Public Radio’s Mabel’s Story, and WTOP’s
The War that Never Ends. (See below for a complete list of winners.)
“Women of Troy” is the winner of the Outstanding Soft
News Feature category and was the first installment of the In Verse
series aired on WNYC's Studio
360 in November 2009. It is a collaboration between
poet Susan B. A. Somers-Willett, photographer Brenda Ann Kenneally,
and radio journalist Lu Olkowski as they document the effects of
the economic crisis on the lives of working mothers in Troy, New
“We are so proud of the important work being done by all
women across the country,” stated 2010 Chair of AWRT, Sylvia
Strobel, Esq. “The Gracies Luncheon is our platform for acknowledging
that work and the amazing people behind it.”
The Gracies are presented by the Foundation of AWRT, the philanthropic
arm of AWRT, which supports educational programs, charitable activities,
public service campaigns and scholarships to benefit the public,
the electronic media and allied fields. The Gracie Awards, established
in 1975, honor programming and individuals of the highest caliber
in all facets of radio, television, cable and web-based media, including
news, drama, comedy, commercials, public service, documentary and
For more details on the Gracies Awards Luncheon including tickets
information, go to the Gracies website: www.thegracies.org.
National Gracie Award winners will be presented at a dazzling black-tie
Gala also at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Tuesday, May 25, 2010. Click
here to view the list of all of this year's winners.
Supporting the Gracies is synonymous with supporting women’s
achievements in all facets of media and entertainment. Reserve your
table and demonstrate your commitment to the Foundation of AWRT,
a 501c3 non-profit charity. For more information, please contact
AWRT at (703) 506-3290.
In Verse’s “Women of Troy” to Air on
Public Radio Stations Nationwide on November 5th featuring poet Susan B. A. Somers-Willett and photographer
Brenda Ann Kenneally
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“Women of Troy,” the first installment of the In Verse
series featuring the work of award-winning poet Susan B. A. Somers-Willett
and world-class photographer Brenda Ann Kenneally, will air on the
nationally distributed Public Radio International/WNYC program Studio
360 with Kurt Andersen the weekend of November 5, 2009.
In Verse is a multi-media project that combines poetry, photography
and audio footage to create “documentary poems” for
radio, the web, print and iPhone. The “Women of Troy”
installment features Somers-Willett and Kenneally as they document
the effects of the economic crisis on the lives of working mothers
in Troy, New York. Labor historians have argued that Troy was the
prototype for the industrialization of America and “the most
important city during the Industrial Revolution.” Troy’s
beginnings stand in stark contrast to its current social conditions.
Today, the median income for a family of three is just under $17,000;
most families in Troy survive on minimum wage jobs.
This collaborative work grows from Kenneally's multi-year reporting
project “Upstate Girls.”
The collaboration has resulted in a suite of poems written by Somers-Willett,
a number of photographs by Kenneally, and essays by both artists
that are published in the Fall
2009 issue of Virginia Quarterly Review. The title
poem from “Women of Troy,” presented alongside Kenneally’s
powerful and intimate photographs, is also available on Vimeo
and You Tube
as a multimedia slideshow.
The audio installment of “Women of Troy” will be available
on the Studio 360
website on Thursday, November 5 and will air on many public
radio stations on November 6-8. For a complete listing of cities
and times, visit theStudio 360 Station Listings page. A discussion with
the artists about the project will occur in the weeks following
the broadcast at Transom.org,
a Peabody Award-winning website dedicated to channeling innovative
work in public radio.
Brenda Ann Kenneally is an independent photojournalist whose photos
of Troy, New York, appeared in the 2009 World Press Photo exhibition.
A chronicler of coming-of-age in post-industrial America, her project,
“Upstate Girls: What Became of Collar City” was awarded
first place at the World Press Awards for Daily Life Stories in
2009, and an honorable Mention at UNICEF Photo of the Year. Visit
her website at: www.brendakenneally.com.
The next In Verse installment features Pulitzer-Prize winning
Trethewey and photographer Joshua
Cogan as they cover the ongoing recovery on the Mississippi
Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. The Gulfport installment, entitled
“Congregation,” will air on Studio 360
the weekend of November 12 and also appears in the Fall 2009 issue
of Virginia Quarterly Review.
In Verse is possible though Public Radio Makers Quest 2.0, an initiative
of AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio, Incorporated.
This project is made possible with funding from the Corporation
for Public Broadcasting. In Verse is also generously supported by
Virginia Quarterly Review. Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen
is the broadcast partner for In Verse. In Verse was created by Ted
Genoways and Lu Olkowski.
The long-anticipated volume is the first book of criticism
to take slam as its subject, shedding light on the relationships
that slam poets build with their audiences through race and
identity performance and revealing how poets come to celebrate
(and at times exploit) the politics of difference in American
With a special focus on African American poets, Susan B. A. Somers-Willett
explores the pros and cons of identity representation in the commercial
arena of spoken word poetry and, in doing so, situates slam within
a history of verse performance, from blackface minstrelsy to Def
Poetry. What's revealed is a race-based dynamic of authenticity
lying at the heart of American culture. Rather than being mere reflections
of culture, Somers-Willett argues, slams are culture--sites
where identities and political values get publicly refigured and
exchanged between poets and audiences.
A veteran of the National Poetry Slam scene for over a dozen years,
Somers-Willett holds a Ph.D. in American Literature and an MA in
creative writing from the University of Texas at Austin. She has
taught at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Illinois,
and the University of Texas and is the author of two books of poetry,
Quiver and Roam. In 2009, she joins the faculty
at Montclair State University as Assistant Professor of English
and Creative Writing.
Marc Smith, founder and creator of the poetry slam, says of the
book: "Finally, a clear, accurate, and thoroughly researched
examination of slam poetry, a movement begun in 1984 by a mixed
bag of nobody poets in Chicago. At conception, slam poetry espoused
universal humanistic ideals and a broad spectrum of participants,
and especially welcome is the book's analysis of how commercial
marketing forces succeeded in narrowing public perception of slam
to the factionalized politics of race and identity. The author's
knowledge of American slam at the national level is solid and more
authentic than many of the slammers who claim to be."
To request a review copy of The Cultural Politics of Slam Poetry
or receive more information about the book, visit http://www.press.umich.edu
or contact Michael Kehoe, Marketing Director, University of Michigan
Press, 839 Greene Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3209, Phone: 734-936-0388,
Poems by Susan B. A. Somers-Willett, Now Available
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
a book of poems by Susan B. A. Somers-Willett of Austin, Texas,
has just been released by the University of Georgia Press
and is now available for order from the publisher (1-800-266-5842)
and local bookstores. The book is published as part of the
highly-regarded Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR) Series in
Established in 2008, the VQR Poetry Series strives to publish
some of the freshest, most accomplished poetry being written
today. The series gathers a group of diverse poets committed
to using intensely focused language to affect the way that
readers see the world. The series is edited by Ted Genoways,
who has been the editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review
Somers-Willett will read from her book on Thursday, April 2 at
7:30 PM at the Avaya Auditorium at the University of Texas at Austin
as part of the Michener Center for Writers Reading Series.
She will also read with National Poetry Series winner Anna Journey
at Bookpeople in Austin on April 26 at 3 PM. For more information
about these and other upcoming readings, visit Somers-Willett’s
Quiver is a collection of poems that seeks to reconcile
the empirical truths of science with the emotional truths of human
experience. Through an ambitious set of poetic series and sequences,
Somers-Willett reinvents the love poem, rendering an exquisite world
where the graph of a mathematical equation can become the image
of "love's witness / running with its arms open all the way
home." Award-winning poet Terrance Hayes says of the book:
“Somers-Willett is a poet as passionate and inventive as the
radical thinkers she counts among her muses. Quiver is
a marvel of exacting speculation and song.” For more about
the book, visit: http://www.susansw.com/books.htm.
Susan B.A. Somers-Willett is the author of another book of poetry,
Roam (2006), and a book of criticism, The Cultural
Politics of Slam Poetry: Race, Identity, and the Performance of
Popular Verse in America (2009). She currently teaches poetry
and creative writing at the University of Texas at Austin.
Somers-Willett Featured on Poetry
Foundation Website’s Cover Story “Performing the Academy”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Poetry Foundation launched a new featured series of articles
on its website, “Performing
the Academy,” by Jeremy Richards. The first article,
which debuted as the website’s cover story, features
an interview with poet Susan B.A. Somers-Willett.
The series is aimed at examining the divide between the page
and the stage by taking a closer look at poets who bridge
performance poetry and academic practice. The cover story
is the first of five articles in the series by Richards.
Somers-Willett addresses issues such as how slam poetry is influencing
the academy, what slam and the academy can learn from each other,
and other topics from her forthcoming scholarly book, The Cultural
Politics of Slam Poetry (University of Michigan Press, 2008).
The Emily Clark Balch Prizes for short story and poetry were established
in 1955. Past recipients include Wendell Berry, John Berryman, Hayden
Carruth, Carolyn Forché, Donald Hall, Mary Oliver, and May
Sarton. The Staige D. Blackford Prize for nonfiction, established
in 2003, is named for the seventh editor of VQR who retired
in 2003 after guiding the magazine for 28 years. Each prize includes
a monetary award of $1,000.
The Virginia Quarterly Review is an award-winning literary
magazine published continuously since 1925 at the University of
Virginia. Earlier this year, VQR was honored with two awards
and six nominations for the prestigious National Magazine Awards.
For more information about the awards, contact Kevin Morrissey
(434-924-3675, k.morrissey @ virginia.edu) or visit the VQR
website at http://www.vqronline.org.
Somers-Willett Featured in November/December 2006
Poets & Writers Magazine
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Somers-Willett of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is featured in
the November/December issue of Poets & Writers
magazine. She, along with eleven other authors, are profiled
in “Finishing the First: A Dozen Debut Poets Who Sealed
the Deal in 2006,” an article by Kevin Larimer highlighting
the careers of debut poets in 2006.
“Finishing the First” is the second of a now-annual
feature about debut poets in Poets & Writers
magazine, a leading periodical in the writing and publishing
industries. The article focuses on submitting and publishing
a first book of poetry from the perspective of writers who
have recently gone through the process.
Somers-Willett’s first book, Roam, was selected
for the Crab Orchard Series Open Competition by Leslie Adrienne
Miller and was published by Southern Illinois University Press in
In the article, Somers-Willett says of the period in which she
submitted her book to publishers: “The wait, however frustrating
or full of dark hours, proved a time of exploration and self-investigation.”
She reveals in the feature that she sent her manuscript out to over
a hundred book contests over a period of seven years.
Somers-Willett is currently completing a new manuscript of poetry,
‘Quiver,’ about the science, mathematics, and evolution
of love and beauty. She teaches as a visiting fellow at the Center
for the Arts in Society at Carnegie Mellon University.
Roam, Poems by Susan B.A. Somers-Willett, Now
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Roam, a book of poems by Susan B.A. Somers-Willett of
Champaign, Illinois, has just been released by Southern Illinois
University Press and is now available for order from the publisher
(618-453-6633). The book was selected from among hundreds of entries
for the 2005 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition.
Orchard Series in Poetry was established in 1998 to publish
new and emerging poets. The series, which includes an open competition,
a first book competition, and an editor’s selection, is a
co-publishing venture between the literary journal Crab Orchard
Review and Southern Illinois University Press.
The judge for the 2005 open competition was poet Leslie Adrienne
Miller. Somers-Willett received a $1500 honorarium for a reading
a Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and publication of
Copies of Roam will also be available at the Associated
Writing Programs Conference Bookfair in Austin, Texas, March 8-11.
Somers-Willett will read from her book on Friday, March 10 as part
of the conference. For more information about the AWP Conference
events and upcoming readings, visit Somers-Willett’s website:
Roam explores the loss of a parent to cancer and the
resulting uprootedness that loss can create. Poet Naomi Shihab Nye
says of the book: “There’s a breathtaking, sly intellect
at work in the luscious poems of Roam. Susan B. A. Somers-Willett
spins an elegant geography of vast terrains and intricate histories.
Her poems make unexpected landings and linkages everywhere.”
Susan B.A. Somers-Willett is also the recipient of the 2004 Ann
Stanford Poetry Prize and the 2005 Robert Frost Foundation Poetry
Award. She currently teaches at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities.
The award, given annually and now in its ninth year, is given to
a poem of exceptional merit "written in the spirit of Robert
Frost." Somers-Willett receives an invitation to read at the
Annual Robert Frost Poetry Festival in Lawrence, Massachusetts and
a $1,000 cash prize.
"The Effect of Light on a Woman's Body" was written about
one of Andrew Wyeth's infamous "Helga" paintings, Overflow.
The Helga paintings have been critically noted for their mastery
of the nude female form and their exceptional use of light and shadow.
Susan B.A. Somers-Willett is also the recipient of the 2004 Ann
Stanford Poetry Prize and her first book, Roam, is forthcoming
from the Crab Orchard Award Series in Poetry in March 2006. She
currently teaches at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.