Winners of the Seventh Annual Robert and Adele Schiff Awards in Poetry and Prose
Aaron Coleman for his poem “Very Many Hands”
Maureen McGranaghan for her story “Stylites Anonymous”
First off, a big thank you to all who submitted! It was a pleasure to read such a rich variety of poetry. From the formal to the experimental, there was no lack of innovation and ambition in the work. We were moved especially by the social consciousness exhibited by a majority of the pieces. This made for an enlightening and cathartic reading experience. Adding to this were poems whose engagement with ideas on music, travel, childhood, and locale all resonated with heart and insight.
One of the pleasures of reading fiction submissions for the Schiff Prize is that we are given a glimpse of all the wonderful things happening on the literary landscape. Without question, aesthetic paradigms are changing. The theme of identity crisis—both personal and cultural—seems to be a common preoccupation, and writers are grappling with this in new and sophisticated ways. The stories and essays we read revealed the contingent and unstable nature of humanity as well as how minds work in dramatically changing circumstances. We were pleased and excited to witness the collective push toward innovation, to see the rules of fiction changing before our eyes.
Jacob M. Appel
S. L. Ferraro
Beverly Tan Murray
John Paul Rollert
Tune in next week for the judges’ comments on the winning poem and story!