Alum Ryan J. Burden (fiction, ’13) has won the 2016 Beacon Street Prize for fiction for his short story “Coming of Age.” About Ryan’s winning story, fiction judge Alexandra Kleeman writes, “With phenomenal grace, ‘Coming of Age’ succeeds at bringing the reader inside the mind of Mason, a child struggling to interpret the murky world in which he lives through the use of a dark, private mythology. Ryan J. Burden brings to life an age when real and unreal shade together uneasily, and anything you do seems to tangle the two further. A vivid piece, uncommonly intimate, this story will envelop you, touch you, and remind you of yourself, many years past.”
Alum JC Todd (poetry, ’90) received the 2016 Rita Dove Poetry Prize of the International Literary Awards sponsored by The Center for Women Writers at Salem College, NC for her poem, “The Girl in the Square.” Judge Blas Falconer writes, “I . . . kept returning to “The Girl in the Square.” The poem focuses on a very particular and perhaps seemingly arbitrary moment during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, using precise imagery and spareness of language to simultaneously render the enormity of the rebellion and the specific valiant sacrifices made by individuals for this historic event.
Alum Jayne Benjulian’s (poetry, ’13) debut poetry collection, Five Sextillion Atoms, was published in June by Saddle Road Press. Rebecca Foust (poetry, ’10) reviewed the collection at Women’s Voices for Change.
Alum Leslie Contreras Schwartz (poetry, ’11) has an essay about the April 2016 Houston, Texas flooding published in the Houston Chronicle.