Alumna Heidy Steidlmayer (poetry, ’00) has won the twenty-second annual John C. Zacharis First Book Award for her poetry collection Fowling Piece (Triquarterly Books, 2011). The $1,500 award, which is named after Emerson College’s former president, honors the best debut book by a Ploughshares writer, alternating annually between poetry and fiction.


This year’s judge was John Skoyles, Ploughshares’ poetry editor. In choosing the collection, Skoyles said: “Heidy Steidlmayer’s Fowling Piece is marked by fiercely textured language and a humane voice. Its linguistic energy is perfectly matched by its calm and inquisitive tone, making a perfect tandem, an exact balance between writing and speech. The poems talk to the reader intimately while using an unexpected and often jolting diction, resulting in a collection both emotionally moving and formally inventive.”

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