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Prairie Schooner Names 2016 Book Prize Winners, Awards $6,000

2016 Prairie Schooner Book Prize Winners

Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has announced the winners of its annual book awards for poetry and short fiction. The winners were chosen from more than 1,200 submissions from around the world.

The Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction for 2016 goes to Venita Blackburn for her manuscript Black Jesus and Other Superheroes, chosen by guest-judges Jennine Capó Crucet and Helon Habila with Editor-in-Chief Kwame Dawes. She will receive a $3,000 prize and publication from the University of Nebraska Press. Blackburn’s stories appear or are forthcoming in American Short Fiction, the Georgia Review, Pleiades, Bat City Review, Nashville Review, Smoke Long Quarterly, Santa Monica Review, Faultline, Devil’s Lake Review, and Bellevue Literary Review, among many others. She was awarded a Bread Loaf Fellowship in 2014 and Pushcart prize nomination the same year. She is from Compton, California and earned her MFA from Arizona State University. She now lives and teaches in Phoenix.

The winner of the 2016 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry is Susan Gubernat for her manuscript The Zoo at Night, chosen by guest-judges Valzhyna Mort and Hilda Raz with Editor-in-Chief Kwame Dawes. She will receive a $3,000 prize and publication from the University of Nebraska Press. Gubernat is also the author of Flesh (Helicon Nine Editions, which won the Marianne Moore Prize, and a chapbook, Analog House (Finishing Line Press). As an opera librettist, her major work, Korczak’s Orphans (composer: Adam Silverman), has been performed in a number of venues and by various companies, including in the VOX New Composers Series of the New York City Opera and by the Opera Company of Brooklyn. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Cimarron Review, Crab Orchard Review, Gargoyle, Michigan Quarterly, the Pinch, Prairie Schooner, Pleiades, Stand, and the Yalobusha Review, among others. Her awards and honors include residencies at the MacDowell, Millay, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo colonies, as well as artist’s fellowships from the states of New York and New Jersey. She holds an MFA in poetry from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. Gubernat is a professor in the English Department at California State University, East Bay, where she co-founded and now advises the Arroyo Literary Review.

The competition, now in its fourteenth year, runs January 15 to March 15 annually. Submission details and a list of past winners are available online at http://prairieschooner.unl.edu/?q=book-prize/past-winners.

Founded in 1926, Prairie Schooner is a national literary quarterly published with the support of the English Department at UNL. It publishes fiction, poetry, essays and reviews by beginning, mid-career, and established writers.