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2016 Book Prize Winners’ Books Now Available from University of Nebraska Press

2016 Prairie Schooner Book Prize Winners

Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is pleased to announce that our 2016 Book Prize Winners’ books are now available from the University of Nebraska Press and wherever books are sold.

Black Jesus and Other Superheroes by Venita Blackburn won the 2016 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, receiving $3000 and publication by the University of Nebraska Press. Blackburn has made “an indelible impression with her first collection of short stories” according to Foreword’s starred review, and Aimee Bender called the book “electrically alive, funny, real.” Black Jesus and Other Superheroes was selected by guest-judges Jennine Capó Crucet and Helon Habila with Editor-in-Chief Kwame Dawes. Venita Blackburn is an English instructor at Arizona State University, and her stories have appeared in numerous publications, including American Short Fiction, Faultline, the Georgia Review, and SmokeLong Quarterly. She was awarded a Bread Loaf fellowship and a Pushcart Prize nomination in 2014. Blackburn is from Compton, California and earned her MFA from Arizona State University. She now lives and teaches in Phoenix.

The Zoo at Night by Susan Gubernat won the 2016 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, receiving $3000 and publication by the University of Nebraska Press. Called a “grand tour of the many ways that the world, arriving directly under our noses, can remain, everlastingly, embodied and mysterious” by Mark Svenvold, the collection has been described as full of “poems of meticulous craftsmanship, luminous apprehension, and unfailing heart” by Linder Gregerson. The Zoo at Night was selected by Valzhyna Mort and Hilda Raz with Editor-in-Chief Kwame Dawes. Susan Gubernat She is the author of Flesh, winner of the Marianne Moore Poetry Prize, and the chapbook Analog House. An opera librettist, her major work, Korczak’s Orphans, in collaboration with composer Adam Silverman, has been performed in a number of venues. She is a professor of English at California State University, East Bay, and lives in Oakland, California.

We hope both Blackburn and Gubernat will visit the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s campus this coming spring for Prairie Schooner’s Annual Book Prize Reading and Celebration. Be sure to check out their work prior to their visit, and get your books ready to be signed! Both The Zoo at Night and Black Jesus and Other Superheroes are available to purchase from the University of Nebraska Press.

The competition, now in its fifteenth year, runs January 15 to March 15 annually. Submission details and a list of past winners are available online.