Senior creative writing major Rani Banjarian wins national prize

Creative Writing major, senior Rani Banjarian, has won the Dell Magazine’s Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing. Banjarian won the award for his story, “Lullabies in Arabic.”  Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine established the prize in order to honor Isaac Asimov, who began publishing science fiction stories when he was eighteen, and to encourage and recognize young writers. As part of his prize, Banjarian’s story will appear in the magazine. He will receive $500, as well as travel to and accommodations at the annual Conference on the Fantastic in Orlando, FL, where he will give a reading of his winning story.

First-year MFA student Tiana Clark wins 2015 Rattle Prize for poetry

First-year MFA student Tiana Clark has won the 2015 Rattle Prize for poetry for her poem “Equilibrium.”  The annual prize carries with it an award of $10,000.   The magazine received a record 4,022 entries or roughly 15,000 poems; Clark’s poem, selected in a blind review by the editors of Rattle, will appear in the Winter 2015 issue.

Earley’s Mr. Tall shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award

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Vanderbilt faculty member Tony Earley’s story collecton, Mr. Tall, published by Little Brown, has been shortlisted for the €25,000 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the world’s richest short story prize. The Munster Literature Centre and the jury–which included Ladette Randolph, editor-in-chief of Ploughshares; British novelist Clive Sinclair; and Irish novelist Eibhear Walshe–announced the shortlist on June 19, 2015. The other shortlisted collections were Refund by Karen E Bender, The Redemption of Galen Pike by Carys Davies, Infidelities by Kirsty Gunn, Crow Fair by Thomas McGuane, and My Documents by Alejandro Zambra.

The Irish Times reported that British author Clive Sinclair, one of this year’s judges, said: “Short in length, but long in reach, these stories echo way beyond their starting points in – say – Nashville, Chile or Montana. They reached the shortlist not because they spoke the loudest, but because the words that made them managed to be both particular and universal.”

The 2015 winner will be announced in early July and the award itself will be presented to the succesful writer at the close of the Cork International Short Story Festival, said to be the world’s oldest annual short story festival.

Poet Kate Daniels Inducted Into the Fellowship of Southern Writers

Poet Kate Daniels, who directs Vanderbilt University’s Creative Writing Program, was inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Writers on April 18, 2015. She’s pictured above with Vanderbilt Creative Writing Program faculty colleague, fiction writer Tony Earley who also is a member of the Fellowship.

Earley introduced Daniels by noting that Daniels has “been widely admired by the literary community for years, for both the sheer breadth and technical accomplishment of her poetry, and for the passion with which she speaks for the traditionally voiceless, particularly Southern working-class women. She’s a national figure in the cutting-edge work being done at the intersection of medicine and art–putting into play the sort of radical idea that art of all kinds, when integrated with traditional medicine, can actually be a force for healing.”  Daniels, the 2011 recipient of the Fellowship of Southern Writers’ Hanes Award for Poetry, and Earley were among more than 40 acclaimed writers who participated in the celebration.

Academy of American Poets Prize for 2015

The winner of the Academy of American Poets Prize for 2015 is Ben Shane, a senior in Arts and Science.  Shane won for  his poem, “Splitting Firewood on a Winter Afternoon.”  Honorable Mention went to MFA grad student Max McDonough for his poem, “Scull Bay.”  Poet A. Van Jordan judged.