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Filtering by Tag: authors

The Liturgy of Listening | 7.1 Poet Kerri Snell

Trevor Sutton

7.1 Poet Kerri Snell tells about the importance of listening for writing poetry.

listenA poem that “works” for an audience is at once both personal and universal. It is still a mystery to me how some of my poems transcend ambiguity and self-consciousness and become living works. I write to understand, and yet my poetry usually provides me with more questions than answers about God, about Nature, about relationships.

Why do I write poetry? I think it is because reading and writing poetry comforts me in a mothering sort of way. I can bed down with my own lack of knowledge and feel that through creation of a poem, I can accept, as I believe God accepts, my glaring limitations. Poetry is for me an experience of Grace.

I have immersed myself in the poetry of Maurice Manning of late, stunned to discover the form he has mastered in capturing old ways and old voices. His poems are linguistic artifacts described through one of the purest voices I have encountered. Like Manning, I write from a distinct geographical landscape. His is Kentucky and mine is Oklahoma. Nurturing my poetic landscape is my personal window into the heterocosm of a poem and it is for me worship. My landscape requests certain liturgical activities more in keeping with Emily Dickinson’s concept of the Sabbath than with the Evangelical Church.

In order to enjoy a successful day of writing, I must get outside every day, usually for a walk or a run. I have to engage in some form of physical exertion in order to slow down my thought processes so that I can record them. Creating on optimal environment for poetry to happen is integral to my success as a writer. I seek light, open, minimally-cluttered space, and of course, solitude. My writing process involves engaging the works of other poets, remembering old hymns, reading the Bible, reading a ton of nonfiction, and then writing, writing, writing. It is remembering loved ones. It is reading history. It is contemplating the future. Mostly, it is prayerfully working to respect the perspectives of others. Poetry requires courage, as does faith. In the midst of doubt, we must create a fluid knowing.  When we begin to see everything as a possible prayer, we begin to learn to listen. Listening is the pivotal liturgical act of poetry.

Kerri Vinson Snell's poems ""Freedom", "The Well", and "Bride"" appear in issue 7.1 of Relief.

Rituals | 7.1 Author Timothy Reilly

Trevor Sutton

oatmeal 7.1 author Timothy Reilly talks about daily rituals ranging from oatmeal to writing.

For the past several years I have eaten oatmeal for breakfast, six days of the week.  I suppose it’s a ritual: I eat the oatmeal at about the same time each day; I prepare it the same way; it comforts me.

At my age (62), a risk comes with admitting to an oatmeal regiment.  I could be accused of stodginess: one of those “old guys” who gives up wearing belts in favor of suspenders, filling his wallet with store coupons.

I’ll take that risk. I am a firm believer in Rites of Passage (sans suspenders and coupons) and the maintenance of productive disciplines.

I first learned the beauty and benefits of ritual and discipline through my upbringing in the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church. (I will not go into my pseudo-agnostic hiatus, but I will say that I have returned to reciting daily the Apostle’s Creed).

I spent my early adult life as a professional musician: a tubaist.  It takes a good deal of mental and physical discipline to maintain a professional level of musicianship.  The ritual of regular daily practice is an absolute necessity.

My music career was cut short by something called “dystonia,” a cruel condition that strikes right where it hurts: the musician’s physical means of making music (with brass and wind players, it hits the embouchure).

For the past 23 years my creative ritual has been writing. I write first thing in the morning, six days a week (before oatmeal).  My wife, Jo-Anne (a poet and scholar), maintains a similar writing ritual.

Listening to music is a ritual.  Lately we have been listening to the music of Morten Lauridsen.  O Magnum Mysterium is our favorite.

The other day I found a dead sparrow on our patio.  Jo-Anne cried.  We both thought about Matthew 10:29: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will.”

I buried the sparrow under a tree.  I marked its grave with a stone painted with a cross.  It was a necessary ritual.

Timothy Reilly was a professional tuba player in both the United States and Europe (in the latter, he was a member of the orchestra of the Teatro Regio in Turin, Italy). He is currently a substitute elementary teacher, living in Southern California with his wife, Jo-Anne Cappeluti, a published poet and scholar, who also teaches university English courses. His short stories have been published in The Seattle ReviewFlash Fiction Magazine (UK), Blue Lake ReviewSlow Trains Literary JournalAmarillo BayFoliate Oak Literary ReviewPassenger, and several other print and online journals.

Cauliflower, Christianity, and Short Fiction

Brad Fruhauff

6.1 fiction contributor Caralyn Davis describes her ineluctably Christian imagination. Last week I crunched my way through four colors of cauliflower: standard creamy white; rich amethyst; Day-Glo cheddar; and a white tinged with veins of violet. The web of tailgate markets crisscrossing my adopted hometown of Asheville, NC, allows me to indulge in multihued crucifers. However, when all is said and done, I’m still eating the vegetable cauliflower, not a chocolate bar or a muffin.

Read More

Vintage Rejection

Stephanie Smith

Rejection always hurts, but this publisher seems particularly hard to please! This vintage rejection slip is from the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company (1907-1925), who is famous for their production of Charlie Chaplin movies (Photo originally posted on NPR). I'm not sure if my writing, or much modern writing at all for that matter, would pass muster! Which reason for rejection do you find most surprising, amusing, appalling? One of my favorites...see #6 for a good laugh.

But to keep you from getting too discouraged, here are a few excerpts from rejection letters of now beloved and classic works,  from publishers who probably still have their foot stuck in their mouths...

Lord of the Flies by William Golding..."an absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull."

The Deer Park by Norman Mailer..."This will set publishing back 25 years."

The Diary of Anne Frank..."The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the 'curiosity' level."

On Writings by Anais Nin..."There is no commercial advantage in acquiring her, and, in my opinion, no artistic."

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame..."an irresponsible holiday story."

Stephanie S. Smith graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a degree in Communications and Women’s Ministry, which she now puts to work freelancing as a book publicist and writer through her business, (In)dialogue Communications, at www.stephaniessmith.com. After living in Chicago for four years, traveling to Amsterdam for a spell, and then moving back home to Baltimore to plan a wedding, she now lives with her husband in Upstate New York where they make novice attempts at home renovation in their 1930s bungalow. She writes for www.startmarriageright.com and manages Moody Publishers’ blog, www.insidepages.net.

Do Anger and Creating Mix?

Kimberly Culbertson

Are You Reading Along?

Have you clicked over to Don Miller's Blog lately? You know I have, because this isn't the first link I've posted on the Relief site. He's been blogging a series on "The Way of A Creator," and I think Relief readers everywhere should be reading along.

Anger + Creation = ?

Today, his post states that "A Creator Resists the Urge to Create out of Anger." You'll want to read the whole post, but here's a quick quote:

The public only has a consciousness so big, and when you create something good, and it gets into the public consciousness, there’s less room for whatever it is that made you angry. So go and create something good, and displace whatever it is that is pissing you off.

This post has me thinking about Relief's beginnings. Part of our story is that the vision for this journal was born out of frustration. I'll be honest--sometimes "Christian" literature makes me angry. For years we've endeavored to create something that displaces the sometimes-overly-sanitized work that well, pisses us off... okay, I'm not sure I'm following Don's advice in this sentence.

Thoughts? How do you, as a creator, wrestle your anger? Do you agree with Don's advice?

Announcing Diner 3 Authors!

Ian David Philpot

I'm not going to lie. I was terrified when Coach handed me the keys to The Midnight Diner.  This third edition would not have come to fruition without the absolutely amazing (all volunteer!!) staff. In all my (almost) forty years, I've never witnessed people working together so flawlessly. This well-oiled machine was definitely greased by The Big Man.  I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I have enjoyed publishing them.

Eric Ortlund "A Thousand Flowers" Editor's Choice

Eric Ortlund teaches Hebrew and Old Testament at Briercrest Seminary in Saskatchewan, Canada. When he is not playing with his two kids, he is busy reading Gene Wolfe and Neil Gaiman and planning his next novel.

Edward Erdelac "The Blood Bay" Editor's Choice

Edward Erdelac was born in Indiana, educated in Chicago, and lives in the Los Angeles area with his family. He is an award winning screenwriter, an independent filmmaker, a sometime Star Wars contributor, and the author of Merkabah Rider: Tales of a High Planes Drifter, the acclaimed first installment in a weird western series from Damnation Books.

Brian J. Hatcher "Clockworks of Hell" Editor's Choice

Brian J. Hatcher is an author, poet, and editor from Charleston WV. His work has appeared in the "Legends of the Mountain State" series, the poetry anthology "Leonard Cohen: You're Our Man", the Stoker-award winning "Writers Workshop of Horror", and Weird Tales Magazine. Brian will be appearing in "The Terror at Miskatonic Falls", "Blood Lite 2: Overbite", and the fourth volume of "Legends of the Mountain State". "Mountain Magic: Spellbinding Tales of Appalachia", Brian's first anthology as editor, will be coming out sometime this fall. Keep up with Brian at www.brianjhatcher.com.

Kevin Brown Kevin Brown "Monster Made"

Kevin Brown has had work published in over one hundred journals and magazines, and has won numerous competitions and fellowships. He was also nominated for a 2007 Journey Award and a Pushcart Prize. His first short-story collection, Ink On Wood, is forthcoming from Virgogray Press. His website is: www.InvisibleBodies.com

Kevin Lucia Diner Alumni "Lonely Places"

Kevin Lucia is the Review Editor for Shroud Magazine. His short fiction has appeared in several anthologies. He's currently finishing his Creative Writing Masters Degree at Binghamton University, he teaches high school English and lives in Castle Creek, New York with his wife and children. He is the author of Hiram Grange & The Chosen One, Book Four of The Hiram Grange Chronicles. Visit him on the web at www.kevinlucia.blogspot.com.

Greg Mitchell Greg Mitchell Diner Alumni "Flesh and Blood"

As a child, Greg Mitchell was afraid of monsters. So, naturally, when he grew up, he devoted his life to writing stories about people shooting monsters in their hairy faces. He has contributed to the Star Wars continuity as well as the Halloween franchise based on the original John Carpenter film. The first novel in his “The Coming Evil” faith-versus-fear series, “The Strange Man”, was originally self-published in 2007, and a revised and expanded edition is due out February 2011 from Realms Fiction. While he’s not writing about monsters, he, his wife Meghan, and their two daughters can be found preparing for the inevitable zombie apocalypse at their home in northeast Arkansas. Check him out atwww.thecomingevil.com.

M.L. Archer Diner Alumni "Virtuoso"

A native of Los Angeles, M.L. Archer, has been writing fiction since the age of eight . . . the same year she started violin lessons. An alumnus of the St. Louis Youth Orchestra, under Leonard Slatkins's direction, she went on to play with a number of adult groups including everything from The Way Orchestra to the Grand Ol' Opry. She owns a magic violin named Max and is always pleased when her two favorite subjects, writing and the violin, manage to meet.

Douglas Kolacki Douglas Kolacki "Cloak"

Douglas Kolacki began writing while stationed with the Navy in Italy, where he received his first story earnings in a Red Cross contest. Since then he has placed fiction in Dragons Knights & Angels, Mindflights, Dreams & Visions and Weird Tales. He currently lives and writes in San Diego.

Lon Prater "Way of Cold Teeth"

Lon Prater is an active duty Navy officer by day, writer of odd little tales by night. His short fiction has appeared in the Stoker-winning anthology Borderlands 5, Writers of the Future XXI, and Origins Award finalist Frontier Cthulhu. He is an avid Texas Hold’em player, occasional stunt kite flyer, and connoisseur of history, theme parks and haunted hayrides. To find out more, visit www.lonprater.com.

Chris Mikesell Diner Alumni, Contributing Editor "Hanlon's Folly"

If you were to take a dictionary and highlight all the words in it that pertain to Chris Mikesell, you would wind up with a hefty fine for defacing library reference materials. You would also probably be left with plenty of ink in your Hi-Liter. Chris lives in suburban Dallas with his wife (Dina), his son (Philip), and his regrets (a few, but then again, too few to mention) and teaches Sophomore English (think you're smarter than a 10th Grader? Visit his class website at mikesell128.blogspot.com). His fiction has appeared in DKA (now Mindflights), Ray Gun Revival, and the previous editions of Coach's Midnight Diner. He has no interest in cliff diving, but has no objection to living vicariously through the lives of his characters.

Announcing Diner 3 Authors, continued...

Ian David Philpot

Jason Hubbard Derr Jason Hubbard Derr "Haunting of Mabel"

Jason Hubbard Derr holds an MA in Theological Studies from the Vancouver School of Theology and studied creative writing in his undergrad at Eastern Washington University. HIs writing has appeared in Relief, Patheos.com and The Huffington Post and his first book will soon be released by the Progressive Christian Alliance Press. Jason is a Theologian-In-Affiliation with the Progressive Christian Alliance and is married to Erin. They live in Vancouver, BC.

Michael Dean Clark "Beneath Its Weight"

Michael Dean Clark is an author of fiction and nonfiction situated primarily in the San Diego area. His work has appeared in Relief, FastForward, and Literary Circular among other outlets. He lives in San Diego with his wife and almost three children and works as a professor of writing at Point Loma Nazarene University.

Libby Cudmore "Preacher Man"

Libby Cudmore is a regular contributor to Hardboiled. a Twist of Noir, Celebrities in Disgrace and Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers, where her story "Unplanned" won a Bullet Award in August 2009 and was nominated for a Derringer award in 2010. Her work has also appeared in The MacGuffin, the Yalobusha Review, the Chaffey Review, the Southern Women's Review, Xenith, Inertia, Battered Suitcase, Big Pulp (with Matthew Quinn Martin) Eastern Standard Crime, Pulp Pusher, the Flash Fiction Offensive, PowderBurnFlash and the anthology Relationships and Other Stuff. Her stories are forthcoming in issues of Crime Factory, Connotation Press and the anthologies We'll Always Have Chicago and Quantum Genre on the Planet of the Arts (also with Matthew Quinn Martin).

Matthew Quinn Martin Contributing Editor "Big Apple Gothic" Matthew Quinn Martin is a New York based writer. His original screenplay Slingshot was made into a feature film starring Juliana Margulies, David Arquette, Thora Birch, Balthazar Getty and Joely Fisher. Slingshot had its premiere at the TriBeCa Film Festival, 2005, has been featured onAccess Hollywood, and is currently on DVD, distributed by the Weinstein Co.

Matthew's prose fiction has been published (or is forthcoming) in Transition Magazine,The Crossing Chaos Anthology: Quantum Genre on the Planet of Arts, and Big Pulp (co-written with Libby Cudmore), Thuglit,MFA/MFYou Literary Journal, A Twist of Noir,Eastern Standard Crime, The Oddville Press,Aphelion and The Flash Fiction Offensive.

His screenplay A Very Good Year, featuring Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years) and Gaius Charles (Friday Night Lights) was presented at FilmFest New Haven. Other works of his have been produced by NYCollective and The New Haven Theatre Co. In addition he has acted as a consultant or ghostwriter on numerous projects for film and television.

He can also be seen flitting around the margins of your TV set...most notably in a recurring co-starring role on the first season of the JJ Abrams created Fringe.

Colin McKay Miller "The Ocean Thief"

Colin McKay Miller is a writer and volunteer halfway house minister from Edinburgh, Scotland. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous publications, including Vagabond Press’ MIND anthology and in Colored Chalk (which he has guest edited). He lives in Colorado with his wife and daughter.

Edoardo Albert

Edoardo Albert "Last Door"

Edoardo Albert is a professional writer and editor, born and based in London, although his parents come from Italy and Sri Lanka. He's married, with two sons, and once wrote a lonely hearts ad that reduced a friend to a state of helpless, hysterical laughter. At the moment, he's typing out a novel written long hand, finishing short stories and trying to find freelance work. Any job offers will be considered.

Virginia Hernandez Diner Alumni "A Better Place"

Virginia Hernandez is not having much luck finding time to write because life with her husband and three terrific kids keeps getting in the way. However, she is officially interested in the multiple world theory and hopes this existence is the one where her novels get published.

Jeff Chapman "Princess and Vampire"

Jeff Chapman writes fairy tales, fantasy, and ghost stories. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Golden Visions Magazine,Mindflights, and Third Order. Hearing the expression "just a fairy tale" rankles him. He lives with his wife and children in a house with more books than bookshelf space. Stop by his blog at http://jeffchapmanwriter.blogspot.com/.

Authors of Issue 4.1

Ian David Philpot

Presenting the authors of our next issue:

Tom Noe

“The Soul for Sale on eBay,” “Hiroshima,” “Awakening Next to My Wife,” “A New Kingdom of the Old,” and “The Lecher and the Wise Man”

Poetry

Tom Noe is a professional editor and writer whose book publishing credits include: The Sixth Day (for children), Into the Lions' Den and A Friend in God. His most recent project was the libretto for an opera based on the story of Eros and Psyche from Ovid's Metamorphoses. He's currently working on a new play set in a Catholic Worker house of hospitality.

Thomas Allbaugh

“Transistor Radio: A Story of Love and Technology”

Fiction

Thomas Allbaugh has published both fiction and nonfiction in Blue Moon Review, Mars Hill Review, Perspectives, and Writing on the Edge. He teaches writing at Azusa Pacific University, where he also coordinates the first year writing program. His first year composition textbook Pretexts for Writing was published by Kendall/Hunt in 2009. He lives in Southern California with his wife of almost 21 years and their four children.

Stacy Barton

"I Read Chekov"

Fiction

Stacy Barton’s stories have appeared in a variety of literary journals including Potomac Review, Relief, Ruminate and Stonework. Her collection of short stories, Surviving Nashville, was released in 2007 and is available at www.wordfarm.net and/or www.amazon.com. Stay tuned for the release of the audio version of her collection, coming soon! In addition to short fiction, Stacy is the author of two plays, a children's picture book, a Ringling Bros circus, and an animated short film. Currently she works as a free-lance scriptwriter for the Disney Company. Visit her at www.stacybarton.com.

Nicholas Samaras

“Considering the Nature of God,” “Lighter Vessel,” and “The Along of My Time”

Poetry

Nicholas Samaras won The Yale Series of Younger Poets Award with his first book, Hands of the Saddlemaker. His next manuscript is a complete Book of Psalms (150), of which these are three samples. Currently, he lives with his family in West Nyack, New York.

Michael Wiley

"God is Playing to an Audience Who is Afraid to Laugh," "The Stain," "Take this Moment," and "Daniel's Moon"

Poetry

Michael Wiley is a geezer who spends most of his time wearing stretchy pants and watching wildlife from his back porch. He used to have a philosophy of poetry, but he lost it about the same time he started watching birds. He's not quite a Luddite, but he still uses rabbit ears, his internet connection is dial-up, and he checks his email about once a month. He welcomes comments on his work, but he is likely to forget just where he submitted it, so don't take his non-reponse to your comments personally.

MaryAnne Wilimek

“Passing from Darkness to Light*”

Creative Nonfiction (*Editor's Choice)

MaryAnne Wilimek lives in northern Minnesota where she spends a good deal of time in the woods or on the waters with her husband Gregg and her dog Murphy. She is fond of gardening, traveling, photography, and occasions for quiet reflection. Her poems and creative nonfiction narratives have appeared in Lake Country Journal, Dust & Fire, and Northwoods Woman. She has work forthcoming in Radix and The Gettysburg Review.

Lynn Kilb

"Eternal Life"

Fiction

Lynn Kilb is a former broadcast journalist who turned to corporate communications (because the money was better) and then to fiction (because money isn't everything). She is currently completing her MFA in Creative Writing through the low-residency program at the University of Nebraska, and is living the advice she got years ago from a former news director: Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story. Lynn has just completed her first novel set primarily on the altar of a Catholic church in Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.

Kenneth Steven

"The Ice"

Fiction

Kenneth Steven is a full-time writer - poet, children's author and novelist. Some 25 of his books have appeared to date. He lives on the edge of Highland Scotland with his wife Ute, and from here he travels all over the UK to give readings and run workshops both for adults and youngsters alike. He's made a number of programmes for BBC Radio. Much of the inspiration for his work comes from the natural world; he spends as much time as possible walking in the woods and hills around the village where he lives.

Josh Howatt

"Unforgetting"

Creative Nonfiction

Josh Howatt is a freelance writer and editor. His writing credits include pieces featured or forthcoming in The Wilderness House Review, The Battered Suitcase, The White Whale Review, and Hear Us Roar. He is in the process of editing his first novel, The Law of Lilies, which he has begun shopping to literary agents and publishing houses.

Jill Bergkamp

"Sarah," "Leah," and "Ruth"

Poetry

Jill Bergkamp is a California native who now lives in Florida. A graduate student in Florida Atlantic University's MFA program in Poetry, Jill now serves as Director of Children's Ministries at the United Methodist Church of the Palm Beaches, as well as teaching English Composition. She was the recipient of Relief's first Editor's Choice Award, and a Rona-Jaffe Foundation Breadloaf Scholarship.

John Fox

"Requiem for a Daughter*"

Fiction (*Editor's Choice)

John Fox received a Master of Professional Writing degree from USC and an MA in Literature from NYU. He won the 2010 Third Coast Fiction Contest and was a finalist for the Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange Award. His fiction has been published in Tampa Review, Adirondack Review, and Los Angeles Review. At his blog, BookFox, he writes about short stories.

Jenn Blair

"Washed"

Fiction

Jenn Blair is from Yakima, WA. She has published in Copper Nickel, The Tusculum Review, the Santa Fe Review, and Cerise Press. Her chapbook All Things are Ordered is out this month from Finishing Line Press. She teaches at the University of Georgia.

Jeanne Murray Walker

“Fleeting*,” “Learning to Print Sophia,” “Conference: On Aging and Grief,” “Who is My Nieghber?,” and “St. Louis Museum of Art: Self Portrait”

Poetry (*Editor's Choice)

Jeanne Murray Walker, poet, playwright, and teacher, is the author of seven books of poetry, including A Deed to the Light, Coming into History, and, most recently, New Tracks, Night Falling. Her poetry and essays have appeared in numerous journals, including Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, Christian Century, The American Poetry Review, The Georgia Review, Image and Best American Poetry. An Atlantic Monthly Fellow at Bread Loaf School of English, Walker has also been awarded a Pew Fellowship in The Arts, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, eight Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships, The Glenna Luschei-Prairie Schooner Prize, and other fellowships and prizes. For 20 years she was the Poetry Editor of Christianity and Literature. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of Image and Shenandoah magazines. Her manuscripts are archived in Special Collections at the Buswell Library, Wheaton College.

Gwen Weerts

"The Greatest Show on Earth"

Creative Nonfiction

Gwen Weerts has an MA in nonfiction creative writing from Western Washington University. She works as an editor for an optical engineering society, and after spending her days immersed in algorithms, debating the most judicious use of a hyphen in the present lens design textbook, she spends her evenings and weekends writing and speaking in run-on, but grammatically perfect, gibberish to her husband, dog, cat, chickens, garden, and anyone else who who will listen. Her essays have appeared in the quarterly publication Adventures Northwest, and she is working on a collection of stories from her year living and learning in sub-Saharan Africa.

Eugenia Leigh

“Angel Hunting,” “Blood, Sparrows and Sparrows,” “How I Drank Us to Death,” “Plastic Continent,” and “Illegitimi Non Carborundum”

Poetry

Eugenia Leigh received her MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, and has led poetry workshops for incarcerated youths and high school students. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Kartika Review, Inkwell Journal, and The Sow's Ear Poetry Review. Eugenia is a Korean American poet born in Chicago and raised in Los Angeles. She lives and writes in Brooklyn.

Don Thompson

“Truth,” “The Word,” “Fried,” “Sin,” and “Light

Poetry

Don Thompson has been publishing poetry for over forty years. He and his wife, Chris, live on her family's cotton farm in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California not far from the prison where he teaches. He has published several chapbooks in the past few years including Been There, Done That and Turning Sixty (March Street Press;) Sittin' on Grace Slick's Stoop (Pudding House;) Where We Live (Parallel Press;) and Back Roads, which won the 2008 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize.

Christopher McCracken

"But the Ball had been a Ball," "A Jar," "Empty Tree Full of Birds," "Heaven Will Smell Like the Airport," and "Ziplocked Everything"

Poetry

Christopher McCracken lives in Huntsville, Texas where he studies, among other things, creative writing at Sam Houston State University.

Amy Frykholm

"The Flesh of Strangers"

Creative Nonfiction

Amy Frykholm is a staff writer for The Christian Century. She is the author of two books: the recently released Julian of Norwich: A Contemplative Biography (Paraclete) and Rapture Culture: Left Behind in Evangelical America (Oxford). She lives in Leadville, Colorado, the highest incorporated town in the United States.

Nicholas Samaras won The Yale Series of Younger Poets Award with his first book, "Hands of the Saddlemaker." His next manuscript is a complete Book of Psalms (150), of which these are three samples. Currently, he lives with his family in West Nyack, New York.