July 27, 2011

Devil's Kitchen Reading Awards announced

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The editors of the 2011-2012 "Grassroots" literary magazine at Southern Illinois University Carbondale recently announced the winners of the 2011 Devil's Kitchen Reading Awards in Poetry and Prose.

The award winners for the 2011 Devil’s Kitchen Literary Festival are Alyson Hagy for prose, and Jerry Williams for poetry.

The editorial staff of Grassroots, the undergraduate literary journal for SIUC, annually names one prose writer and one poet based on a literary work published by that writer in the preceding year. The winning authors present a public reading and participate in panels at the Devil’s Kitchen Literary Festival, and receive a cash award as an honorarium as well as travel expenses. Submissions are open to authors and publishers. Judges for the award are SIUC graduate students in the creative writing program.

Alyson Hagy’s short story collection, “Ghosts of Wyoming,” the book for which she wins the Devil’s Kitchen Award, is the most recent of several books, including “Snow, Ashes,” and “Graveyard of the Atlantic: Short Stories,” both published, as is “Ghosts of Wyoming,” by Graywolf Press. Other books are: “Keeneland,” “Hardware River Stories,” and “Madonna on her Back: Stories.” Hagy’s stories also appear in journals including “Shenandoah,” and “Virginia Quarterly Review,” among others. She holds a Nelson Algren Prize, Syndicated Fiction Prize, and is a past Pushcart Prize winner. She earned a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Hagy is on the faculty of the University of Wyoming.

Jerry Williams’ poetry collection, “Admission,” is a 2010 publication from Carnegie Mellon University Press. The collection is, according to reviewer Ken Tucker, “funny and tough and thrilling.” Reviewer Mark Halliday refers to Williams as “the poet of estrangement and panic” finding “ways to keep in touch.” Williams is also the author of “It’s Not You, It’s Me: The Poetry of Breakup,” and “Casino of the Sun.” His poetry and nonfiction appear in journals including “American Poetry Review,” “Pleiades,” and “Tin House.” He is on the faculty at Marymount Manhattan College.

Both award winners will read from their works at the Devil’s Kitchen Literary Festival in the fall. Also included in the lineup are: Brian Barker, Camille Dungy, Amina Gautier, and SIUC’s own Rodney Jones.

Grassroots editors for the 2011-2012 academic year are Crystal McDaniels, a senior English major from Chicago; Kat Mannel, a senior art major from Crete; and Jessica Suchon, a junior journalism major from Ann Arbor, Mich.

Watch Saluki Times for a full Devil’s Kitchen Literary Festival schedule, or, for updates, look for the festival on Facebook via Grassroots SIUC. “Grassroots” receives support from the Department of English and from the Fine Arts Activity Fee.