MFA student Tiana Clark wins 2016 Frost Place Chapbook Competition

As winner of the 2016 Frost Place Chapbook Competition, MFA student, Tiana Clark’s poetry chapbook, “Equilibrium,” will be published by Bull City Press this summer. As part of her prize, Clark will also attend the 2016 Frost Place Poetry Seminar as The Frost Place Chapbook Fellow; she will receive a one-week writing residency in The Frost Place, home of Robert Frost; and she will give a featured reading during the Seminar.

Tiana Clark, winner of the 2015 Rattle Poetry Prize for her poem “Equilibrium,” is a first year MFA student in poetry, a Commons Writer-in-Residence, and the Poetry Editor for Nashville Review. Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming in such journals as Rattle, Best New Poets 2015,Crab Orchard Review, Southern Indiana Review, The Adroit Journal, Muzzle Magazine, Thrush, and The Offing.

Last year, the same award went to Anders Carlson-Wee (MFA 2015), then also a student in the Creative Writing Program.

About Equilibrium 2016 judge Afaa Michael Weaver wrote, “Equilibrium searches for that point where there is a balance, even as the poems display a consciousness and self awareness that belie that balance. The poems negotiate the colossal movement of hearts figuring and being figured by history. This is a voice that knows the intelligence of passion, that moves through and inside the questioning of who we are in the structures of things we give the power to name us until a song sends us out to question the territory. The poet moves with the exactness of math or physics, with the fearful knowledge of careful imbalances that would have us believe in equilibrium, and with the assuredness of art that knows all is change, that the semblance of order is creation, something we are given the gift of imitating in some small way. The poems in this collection summon the largeness, the volume of a voice that disembodies itself in order to search for the love that made it whole.”

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.