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Prairie Schooner News

Prairie Schooner Launches New iOS app Global Schooner


Prairie Schooner, the University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s literary journal, will release its mobile app on May 1.  The mobile app, titled Global Schooner: A World of Prairie Schooner Writers, features an interactive global map that pinpoints the location of authors from past Prairie Schooner issues, offering users unprecedented access to author biographies, videos, interviews, and more. 

Global Schooner features profiles from more than 300 authors from around the globe who have been published in the prestigious literary journal run by the University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s English department for the last 87 years.  Forty-five author profiles have expanded content, including audio and video of exclusive interviews and readings.  The app also provides links to Prairie Schooner’s blog, podcast, and other online content.  App users may purchase an issue of Prairie Schooner or subscribe to the quarterly using the app. 

The mobile app will become available for download on iTunes on May 1st at midnight and is free.  Users can pay for the “Guide to Customs” feature, which allows access to additional content for $2.99.  The app features pinpoints on a Google Earth interface that designate the location of authors published in Prairie Schooner.  By clicking on pinpoints, app users can read the bios of authors and access other digital media compiled by Prairie Schooner

Managing Editor and app creator, Marianne Kunkel, explained how the app release fits into Prairie Schooner’s mission as a literary journal: "Prairie Schooner's tagline is 'Writing that Moves You' and this app does just that. What we've created is cutting-edge--a Table of Contents that is sortable by our contributors' places of origin, each one pinpointed on a user-friendly, spin-able globe. Browsing our journal on our app turns readers into literary travelers."

App users can access audio and video files featuring Martha Collins, Eudora Welty, Raymond Carver, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Nance van Winckel, and others. New content will be uploaded to the app each year. 

In addition, Prairie Schooner’s podcast, Air Schooner, conducted interviews with Li-Young Lee, Roxane Gay, Nikola Madzirov, and Sudeep Sen that will be available with the upgrade to “Guide to Customs.”

The mobile app and digital initiative represent Prairie Schooner’s desire as a publication to extend its influence into digital and online media, and to reflect its growing presence within the international community. 

Editor in Chief and poet Kwame Dawes reflected on how the Global Schooner app enhances Prairie Schooner’s international presence.

“One of the exciting opportunities that digital literary publishing allows for is the chance to make a reality the global community of letters. Global Schooner is a genius app idea that capitalizes on the app technology to celebrate our global commitment to writers and to literature from various parts of the world.”

The mobile app was designed by David Levi of Double Apps, a Knoxville, TN- based company that specializes in map-based smartphone app design.  Levi explained that the Global Schooner app is part of a progression of his desire to design user interfaces that use maps.  Levi commented on the creation of Global Schooner , saying, “The app interface uses a pretty cool animated 3-D globe to show where various authors live.  I think this gives the user a good sense of the diversity of authors featured in the app.”  App users may recognize Double Apps as the creators of Beck Tour and Shared Time.

Prairie Schooner to Host Barry Lopez Featured Reading this Fall

National Book Award winner and bestselling author Barry Lopez will be the featured guest at an event hosted by Prairie Schooner, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s international literary journal.

The event will take place Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the City Campus Union ballroom and is free and open to the public. Lopez will read from his creative work, followed by an on-stage interview with award-winning Nebraska author Dr. Mary Pipher and a book signing.

Lopez is one of the foremost American voices in contemporary environmental literature and activism. His nonfiction book Arctic Dreams (Vintage) won a National Book Award and he holds a Guggenheim Fellowship and five National Science Foundation Fellowships, in addition to numerous Pushcart Prizes in both fiction and nonfiction.  His creative essay “Six Thousand Pieces” will appear in Prairie Schooner’s Fall 2013 issue.

“I have found in Lopez that most reassuring combination of scholar, social commentator, and generous human being,” said Kwame Dawes, Prairie Schooner editor-in-chief. “He has been willing enough to contain these qualities within a profoundly empathic quality of affirmation for the human condition--one that is refreshingly and self-reflexively critical and yet one that has the capacity to be celebratory and hopeful.  It is a tremendous honor that he has agreed to come to Lincoln.”

This event has been made possible with the generous support of the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Natural Resources, the School of Biological Sciences, the Institute for Ethnic Studies, the Center for Great Plains Studies, the Environmental Studies Program, and the English, geography, and philosophy departments.

Lopez’s major works include the nonfiction book Of Wolves and Men (Scribner), a National Book Award finalist, and the story collection Resistance (Vintage), winner of the 2004 Oregon Book Award. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, National Geographic, and The Paris Review among others.  


Prairie Schooner Celebrates 10 Years of its Book Prize Series


Prairie Schooner, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s literary journal, will be hositing an event to celebrate the tenth anniversary of its annual Book Prize Series.  The celebration will be hosted on Thursday, April 4 from 7-9 p.m. at the UNL International Quilty Study Center located at 2523 N. 33rd Street in Lincoln. 

The celebration will feature introductory remarks by Hilda Raz and Peggy Shumaker, the founders of the Book Prize Series.  Karen Brown and Susan Blackwell Ramsey, the 2011 Book Prize winners will also present readings.  The event will include special performances by UNL’s Ceramics and Music Composition departments.  A reception with complementary wine and dessert will follow the event. 

The Prairie Schooner Book Prize is recognized as one of the premier prizes of its kind for both established and emerging writers.  Each year, Prairie Schooner accepts submissions of book length manuscripts of poetry and short story collections, offering a $3,000 prize to the winner in each genre, as well as publication with through the University of Nebraska Press. 

The event will begin with an introductions by Raz and Shumaker.  Raz, the editor of Prairie Schooner from 1970-2010, turned the prestigious literary journal into a financially viable enterprise with widespread distribution of regular quarterly issues.  Under Raz’s leadership, Prairie Schooner grew in prominence and stature within the literary community.  Shumaker, a poet and contributer to Prairie Schooner, worked in conjunction with Raz to establish the Book Prize Series, and has provided generous and necessary financial support.  Shumaker and her husband helped fund the prize with start-up money, and continue to donate annually.  Under the guidance and support of Raz and Schumaker, the Book Prize Series has become an annual staple with international acclaim and regard, with a longevity to match the journal’s famed 87-year history.

Both Ramsey and Brown will give readings of their award-winning poems and stories during the celebration. 

Ramsey is the winner of the 2011 Book Prize in Poetry, for her collection of poems titled A Mind Like This.  Ramsey is a Michigan Native, having received an MFA in Creative Writing from Notre Dame, and currently residing in Kalamazoo where she teaches at the Kalamazoo Institute.  Ramsey has been included in Best American Poets

An interpretation of Brown’s stories into a song performed by the UNL music composition department will precede her reading.  Brown is the winner of the 2011 Book Prize in Fiction.  Brown’s collection of short stories, Little Sinners and Other Stories is her second book.  Brown has been selected for inclusion in PEN/O.Henry Stories twice, and has also been included in Best American Short Stories.  She currently teaches at the University of South Florida.

Reflecting Prairie Schooner’s goal to promote creative work in a public venue, the event will feature artistic interpretations of Ramsey and Brown’s writing.  The UNL ceramics department will present ceramic works meant to represent Ramsey’s poetry, while the music composition department has written a song that will be performed as a tribute to Brown’s short stories.  This interdisciplinary presentation echoes the Prairie Schooner ethos to create and promote a supportive community for all of those involved in the creative arts. 

More information about past winners of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize Series can be found on Prairie Schooner’s website, http://prairieschooner.unl.edu.  Books from previous winners and the recently published The Prairie Schooner Book Prize 10th Anniversary Reader are available for purchase on the University of Nebraska Press website at http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/catalog.  

Prairie Schooner to Host "Global Ireland" Panel Discussion and Reading Featuring Eamonn Wall, Drucilla Wall, and Ray McManus


Prairie Schooner, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s literary journal, is hosting a series of events promoting “Global Ireland” on Thursday, March 28.  The event will feature a panel discussion and a reading comprised of Irish and Irish-American poets that are both free and open to the public.  The poets featured are Eamonn Wall, Drucilla Wall, and Ray McManus. 

The Global Ireland panel will be held from 1-2 p.m. in the Dudley Bailey Library, located in Andrews Hall on the UNL City Campus. 

All three writers will participate in a poetry reading at 7:30 p.m. at the Great Plains Art Museum located in the Center for Great Plains Studies at 1155 Q Street. 

Eamonn Wall is the author of the poetry collections Sailing Lake Mareotis and A Tour of Your Country.  Wall has also pulished the scholarly and academic books Writing the Irish West: Ecologies and Traditions and From the Sin-é Café to the Black Hills.  Wall is the director of the Irish Studies program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis where he teaches courses in Irish and British Literature. 

Drucilla Wall’s poetry collection The Geese at the Gates has received international attention, garnerning positive reviews from The Irish Times, The Galway Advertiser, and Western American Literature.  Wall’s work focuses on her relationship to Irish and American places with an environmental consciouness, while engaging with her Creek/Muscogee, Irish, and Jewish identity.

Ray McManus is the author of two books of poetry, Driving through the counry before you are born and Red Dirt Jesus.  McManus is also widely published in many notable literary journals such as Los Angeles Review, Natural Bridge, and Arkansas Review.  McManus is an assistant professor of English at the University of South Carolina Sumter.

Kwame Dawes, poet and Editor-in-Chief of Prairie Schooner, noted the importance of hosting an event focused on writers of the Irish diaspora.  “This is a very exciting event, for given the contribution of Irish authors to world literature, it always makes sense to hear what contemporary poets with a clear Irish bent have to say.  I recently read Colum McCann reflecting on the challenges and rewards of writing from outside of Ireland—he mused that regardless of his locale, subject matter and characters, he finds himself always negotiating the meaning of Irishness and its relationship to the world.  Eamon Wall, Drucilla Wall and Ray McManus are each gifted poets in their own right and come at their art from distinctive perspectives.  This should prove a delicious event.”

Global Ireland is a part of Prairie Schooner’s larger global inititiave to promote and support writing on an international scale.  The Global Ireland event anticipates the release of Prairie Schooner’s mobile app release, Global Schooner, a map-based platform that allows users to explore the wide international breadth of authors who have published in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s prestigious literary journal during its 87-year history. 


Prairie Schooner Announces Winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets

Kenyan poet Clifton Gachagua’s manuscript Madman at Kilifi has been selected by the African Poetry Book Fund & Series for the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. As the winner of the First Book Prize, Gachagua’s Madman at Kilifi will be among one of the four books to be published by the African Poetry Book Series in 2014.

The Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets is awarded to African poets who have not previously published a book-length collection. The prize includes a $1000 cash award and publication with the University of Nebraska Press and Amalion Publishing in Senegal.

Kwame Dawes, Series Editor of the African Poetry Book Fund & Series, notes that Madman at Kilifi was selected because, “Above all, there is a distinctive voice here. This is a difficult trait to define, but when it emerges as it does here, it is striking for its originality. There is a fresh and adventurous intelligence and delight in Gachagua’s poems. The judges are all thrilled with this manuscript and we are expecting great things from Clifton Gachagua."

Clifton Gachagua is a writer, screenwriter, and filmmaker based in Nairobi, Kenya, where he was born and raised. Gachagua’s poetry has appeared in Kwani? 06, Saraba, and on his blog “The Drums of Shostakovich.” His prose has appeared in the online journal Storymoja, the anthology AfroSF, and a collection of science fiction writing from Africa. He has recently completed a novel and is currently developing a French-Nigerian feature-length film. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences.

The Sillerman First Book Prize is named after philanthropists Laura and Robert F. X. Sillerman whose contributions have endowed the establishment of the African Poetry Book Fund & Series.

The African Poetry Book Fund & Series promotes the writing and publication of African poetry through an international complex of collaborations and partnerships. The Fund and its partners offer support for seminars, workshops, and other publishing opportunities for African poets.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s literary journal Prairie Schooner manages the annual Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets as a partner in the African Poetry Book Fund & Series.

In addition to Dawes, the Series Editor, who is of Ghanaian birth, the editorial board for the African First Book Fund is comprised of the South African poet Gabeba Baderoon, the American novelist John Keene, the Nigerian poet and novelist Chris Abani, the Egyptian-American poet Matthew Shenoda, and Bernardine Evaristo, award-winning novelist and poet from the UK.

Prairie Schooner Nebraska Library Tour Schedule

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2 p.m.

Keene Memorial Library

1030 N Broad St

Fremont, NE 68025

Tuesday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m.

Potter Public Library

333 Chestnut

Potter, NE 69156

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m.

Broken Bow Public Library

626 South D. St.
Broken Bow, NE 68822

Thursday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m.

Alliance Library
Sweetwater Avenue

Alliance, NE 69301

Saturday, Dec. 15, 11 a.m.

Stromsburg Public Library

320 Central Street

PO Box 366

Stromsburg, NE 68666

Saturday, Dec. 15, 4 p.m.

Omaha Public Library-Washington

2868 Ames Avenue

Omaha, NE 68111

Sunday, Dec. 16, 2 p.m.

Neligh Public Library

710 M. Street

Neligh, NE 68756

Sunday, Dec. 16, 7 p.m.

Lied Battle Creek Public Library

100 S. 4th St.
PO Box D

Battle Creek, NE 68715

Monday, Dec. 17, 7 p.m.

Norfolk Public Library

308 W. Prospect Ave.

Norfolk, NE 68701

Tuesday, Dec. 18, 7 p.m.

Beatrice Public Library

100 N. 16th St.

Beatrice, NE 68310

Wednesday, Dec. 19, 7 p.m.

South Sioux City Public Library

2121 Dakota Avenue

South Sioux City, NE 68776

Thursday, Dec. 20, 5:30 p.m.

Central City Public Library

1604 15th Avenue

Central City, NE 68826

Kwame Dawes to Embark on Nebraska Publicity Tour for Schooner

Kwame Dawes, Guggenheim Fellow and winner of the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, will embark on a driving tour in December 2012 to promote Prairie Schooner in public libraries across the state of Nebraska. Dawes is Editor-in-Chief of the international literary journal based out of the University of Nebraska. He will be joined by poet and managing editor, Marianne Kunkel.


This tour fulfills one of the goals that Dawes set for himself during the first few months of his tenure as editor-in-chief of Prairie Schooner.


“Prairie Schooner is one of Nebraska’s greatest and most enduring gifts to the world, and it has been giving America so much for eighty-six years. I want to find as many ways to remind the people of the state about what a treasure we have and to see if we can generate even more ownership and pride in the publication.”


Since his arrival, Prairie Schooner has expanded its web presence and has even made the move, after almost a century, to online submissions. Prairie Schooner has begun to have a marked international focus. Dawes, however, sees this tour as a way to remind its core base about the journal’s roots in Nebraska and its continued interest in regional writers as well as its reliance on the support and interest of Nebraskans. 


“We do not want to be an impersonal journal, but one that is aware that real people read and support the journal, and many of those real people live here in Nebraska. The great perk for all of this, however, is that I get a chance to see the state more and to find out how Prairie Schooner can support the literary arts in Nebraska in town after town.”


The tour, which spans from Dec. 8 to Dec. 22, will take place in public libraries in more than twelve cities, including Alliance, Beatrice, Broken Bow, and Fremont. Each visit will feature poetry readings by Dawes and Kunkel followed by a question and answer session. Kunkel will promote the journal to attendees, offering information about submissions and selling single copies and subscriptions. 


Rod Wagner, Nebraska Library Commission Communications Director, says, “This is a great opportunity for people across Nebraska to hear an internationally-known Nebraska poet read from his work and to learn more about Nebraska’s own Prairie Schooner.”


Make sure to stay tuned to Prairie Schooner’s website for a complete calendar of the dates and times of the inaugural Prairie Schooner library tour. 


Sherman Alexie to be Featured Guest at the Launch Event for Our Winter Issue

Acclaimed author Sherman Alexie will be the featured author at the launch event of Prairie Schooner, the international literary journal based out of the University of Nebraska, as it celebrates the release of its Winter 2012 issue. Alexie guest edited a portfolio of poetry and prose by contemporary Native American authors in the issue. The event will take place in the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center at 7 p.m. on January 28 and 29, 2013.


The two-day event is free and open to the public. On the first evening, during which Alexie will not be in attendance, Prairie Schooner will host a screening of Smoke Signals, a film written and co-produced by Alexie. Smoke Signals won the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. On the second evening, Alexie will read from his creative work, which will be followed by an on-stage interview with Kwame Dawes, Prairie Schooner Editor-in-Chief, and a book signing.


Dawes says of the event, “Alexie represents one of a select group of writers whose fame is matched by their brilliance as writers. To have him visit UNL is simply exciting, and especially so for Prairie Schooner because of his role as guest editor for our special Native American portfolio issue.”


The launch event has been made possible through funding from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education and Human Sciences, the Institute for Ethnic Studies, the Native American Studies program, and the English and History departments. It is a major feature of Prairie Schooner’s annual program of events, held each year to celebrate an internationally-themed winter issue.


Alexie’s most recent books are War Dances (Grove Press), stories and poems, and Face (Hanging Loose Press), a book of poems. He is the winner of the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award, the 2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the 2001 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story, and a Special Citation for the 1994 PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Fiction.


Make sure to stay tuned to Prairie Schooner’s website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter for further announcements about the launch event for its Native American issue.


Bernardine Evaristo Announces the Brunel University African Poetry Prize

The Brunel University African Poetry Prize is a major new poetry prize of £3000 aimed at the development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa. The prize is sponsored by Brunel University and partnered by Commonwealth Writers, the Africa Centre UK, and the African Poetry Book Fund USA.

British-Nigerian writer, Bernardine Evaristo, who has initiated the prize, describes her reasons for a new prize exclusively devoted to African poetry:

"I have judged several prizes in the past few years, including chairing the Caine Prize for African Fiction in 2012, an award that has revitalised the fortunes of fiction from Africa since its inception in 1999. It became clear to me that poetry from the continent could also do with a prize to draw attention to it and to encourage a new generation of poets who might one day become an international presence. I am particularly interested in new voices who are exploring poetry that perhaps draws on the poets’ own cultural aesthetics – doing something original, something different. African poets are rarely published in Britain. I hope this prize will introduce exciting new poets to Britain’s poetry editors."

Prairie Schooner, one of the leading literary presses in the USA, having published continuously for eighty-five years, has committed to publishing some of the work of the winning poets of the Brunel University African Poetry Prize. Wasafiri, the leading British journal of international writing, will also publish the winner. Similar arrangements will be pursued with other major literary journals in the United Kingdom and the US.


The prize will be for ten poems by an African writer who has not yet had a full-length poetry book published. (Self-published books, chapbooks and pamphlets are exempt.)

The prize is open to poets who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African.

Only poetry written in English is eligible. Translated poetry is accepted but a percentage of the prize will be awarded to the translator.

The prize opens for entries on October 26, 2012 and the winner will be announced in April 2013.

There will be a distinguished panel of judges including the poet Kwame Dawes and the academic Mpalive Msiska. There will also be an advisory committee. All to be announced.

In collaboration with the African Poetry Book Fund, the Brunel University African Poetry Prize will develop a series of poetry workshops and courses in Africa in its efforts to provide technical support for poets writing in Africa.

For more updates and additional information go to the Facebook page of the Prize or contact Bernardine Evaristo at Bernardine.Evaristo@brunel.ac.uk. Additional information about the Brunel University African Poetry Prize will be available at the website of the African Poetry Book Fund, http://africanpoetrybf.unl.edu/.

The African Poetry Book Fund

Bernardine Evaristo and the Ghanaian-Jamaican writer, editor and academic, Kwame Dawes, first worked together in 1995. When they discovered two months ago that they were both launching African poetry prizes, they decided to combine their efforts and resources. Kwame Dawes has just set up the African Poetry Book Fund, established at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Fund will incorporate the establishment of the new African Poetry Book Series, to be published by the University of Nebraska Press and Amalion Press in Senegal, and the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. The fund will also incorporate the Brunel University African Poetry Prize. http://tinyurl.com/africanpoetrybookfund

Brunel University

Brunel University is a public research university located in London, winner of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2011 for Higher and Further Education. The university has seen phenomenal rises in the recent university ranking guides. In the first Times Higher Education guide to the top 100 universities founded in the last 50 years, Brunel is placed 1st in London, 6th in the UK, and 35th internationally. English and Creative Writing have been ranked in the top quartile of the Guardian University Guide 2013. www.brunel.ac.uk

Commonwealth Writers

Commonwealth Writers is a new cultural programme within the Commonwealth Foundation which develops, connects, and inspires writers. By awarding prizes and running on-the-ground activities, it works in partnership with international literary organisations, the wider cultural industries and civil society to help writers develop their craft in the fifty four countries of the Commonwealth. www.commonwealthwriters.org is a forum where members from anywhere in the world can exchange ideas and contribute to debates. www.commonwealthwriters.org

Bernardine Evaristo is the author of six books of fiction and verse fiction including Lara, The Emperor’s Babe and Blonde Roots. Her latest novel will be published by Penguin UK in Spring 2013. An editor and literary critic for the national newspapers, she teaches creative writing at Brunel University. As an advocate for poets of colour, she initiated the Free Verse report and The Complete Works mentoring schemes to develop poets of colour to publication in the UK - with Spread the Word writing agency. She has judged many leading literary awards and in 2012 she was Chair of both the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and the Caine Prize for African Fiction. Winter 2012 she is Guest Editor of Poetry Review, Britain’s leading poetry journal. She has won several literary awards, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Arts and she was made an MBE in 2009. www.bevaristo.com

Kwame Dawes is an award winning poet, novelist, playwright, anthologist, musician and critic and the author of over thirty-five books, including sixteen books of poetry, the most recent being, Wheels, (Peepal Tree Press 2011). He is Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a faculty member of the Pacific MFA program in Oregon. His many awards include the Forward Poetry Prize, an Emmy for his reporting on HIV/AIDS in Jamaica, the Barnes and Nobles Writers for Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is Associate Poetry Editor of Peepal Tree Press and co-founder and Program Director of Calabash International Literary Festival. His collection Duppy Conqueror, New and Selected Poems will be published by Copper Canyon in 2013.

The 2012 Prairie Schooner Book Prize Winners: Xhenet Aliu and Orlando Ricardo Menes

Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has announced the winners for its annual awards for books of short fiction and poetry. Judges for poetry were Hilda Raz, Peggy Shumaker, and David St. John. The judges for fiction were Sherman Alexie and Colin Channer. The winners were chosen from more than 1,100 submissions from around the world.

The Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction for 2012 goes to Xhenet Aliu for her manuscript, Domesticated Wild Things. She will receive a $3,000 prize and publication by the University of Nebraska Press.

"There is a sophisticated brand of humor in Alieu's fiction—her stories in Domesticated Wild Things will make you laugh out loud but will not burden you with any sense of guilt that might come from laughing at people,” says Kwame Dawes, editor of Prairie Schooner. “Her affection for her beautifully rendered characters is contagious, making the humor affirming and humanizing. These are entertaining and insightful stories full of surprises and revelations. We are thrilled to publish what will be her debut collection."

Xhenet Aliu hails from Waterbury, Connecticut. Her fiction has appeared in journals such as Glimmer Train, Hobart, and The Barcelona Review, and she has received multiple scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and a grant from The Elizabeth George Foundation. A former secretary, waitress, entertainment journalist, and private investigator, she received her B.A. from Southern Connecticut State University and an M.F.A. from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Currently, she lives in Athens, Georgia, after recent stints in Brooklyn, Montana, and Utah. She is of Albanian Muslim and Lithuanian Catholic descent.

“I remember when I was about 20 years old, before I'd ever submitted a story or even heard the term 'literary magazine,' picking up a copy of Prairie Schooner at my local Barnes & Noble and feeling awed that a forum of amazing contemporary writing like this existed,” says Aliu. "I'm even more awed now that my own collection will get to wear Prairie Schooner and the University of Nebraska Press on its cover. I couldn't imagine a better outfit for my book.”

The winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry for 2012 is Orlando Ricardo Menes for his manuscript, Fetish. He will receive a $3,000 prize and publication by the University of Nebraska Press.

"Menes is an accomplished poet who has managed to evolve a language that seems determined to encapsulate the broadest and most compelling notion of America that embraces both the northern and southern continents,” says Dawes. “His poems reveal a formal dexterity that is awe inspiring, and his poems are rich with delight and full fascination with the human experience. His is a bold and inventive imagination. Our readers, we believe, will share our enthusiasm for Fetish."

Menes was born in Lima, Perú, to Cuban parents but has lived most of his life in the United States. Since 2000 he has taught at the University of Notre Dame where he now directs the creative writing program. In addition to Fetish, he is also the author of Furia (Milkweed) and Rumba atop the Stones (Peepal Tree). His poems have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including The Hudson Review, Callaloo, The Antioch Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Alaska Quarterly Review, Indiana Review, Image, and Shenandoah. Menes is editor of Renaming Ecstasy: Latino Writings on the Sacred (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe) and The Open Light: Poets from Notre Dame, 1991-2008 (University of Notre Dame Press). Besides his own poems, Menes has published translations of Spanish poetry, including My Heart Flooded with Water: Selected Poems by Alfonsina Storni (Latin American Literary Review Press). He is the recipient of a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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

Founded in 1927, 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. For more information, visit http://prairieschooner.unl.edu.