2012 Award Winners Announced

Announcing the 2012 Dogwood Award Winners!

I’d like to thank our judges, Katie Riegel and Ira Sukrungruang, who received the blind-submission finalists chosen by our editors. Special thanks go to Ira for reading in two categories.

Katherine Riegel’s first book of poetry is Castaway (FutureCycle Press 2010). Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals, including Crazyhorse, the Cream City Review, and Terrain.org. She is co-founder and poetry editor for the independent online journal Sweet: A Literary Confection. She teaches at the University of South Florida and lives in Brandon.

Ira Sukrungruang is the author of Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy. His work has appeared in many literary journals, including North American Review, Creative Nonfiction, and The Sun. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of South Florida.

First Prize, Poetry: “Playing Scrabble with Steve and Crystal” by Maya Jewel Zeller

Katherine Riegel writes: “The layers of imagery, the loving attention to the fresh and apt word choice, and the sheer flat-out gallop of these enjambed lines reflecting “a riot of muscle and light,” the subject of the poem, made it irresistible. This writer writes with confidence, fearlessly trying to understand and explain the ways girls turn into women, the ways we become who we are. The poem made me want to go back in time and play this mud fight on horseback with the author; it made me recognize anew how we are constantly reborn through the animal world.

In this category, Katherine chose “On Refusing to Press Charges” by Rob Jacques as honorable mention,” and said it was a difficult decision.

First Prize, Nonfiction: “Elegy for the Guns” by David Patrick

Ira Sukrungruang writes, “What struck me about this piece is the swiftness of the narrative, the balance of scene and succinct exposition. Here was an essay about a father unraveled through a history of guns. Here was a writer who controlled tension and tone throughout, bringing me in with such effortless ease. Here was a narrator trying to understand a man, who carried with him a shadow of mystery. This essay, like all good essay, contained an urgency that kept me flipping the page.”

First Prize, Fiction: “Love Stories” by Nick Scorza

Ira Sukrunrang writes of this story:

“I’m a sucker for a good love story, even one that doesn’t end up with a juicy kiss at the end. But there is an inherent danger of writing a literary love story, one a good writer needs to take into account. This writer does just that. This writer knows that line between drama and melodrama, knows that a good love story is not about what happens, but the internal motivations of character. A good love story delves deep into the psyche of both parties, examines who they are, and how they have gotten to this point, and where they may or may not head into. But a good love story also does this: examines what we sacrifice, what we lose, what we fall prey to, and makes us keep thinking, keep imagining possibility. Love Stories does just that.

Ira selected “The Delivery” by Gary Smothers for Honorable Mention and wrote that the decision was extremely difficult.

All winners and honorable mentions as well as much more will be published in Dogwood this spring!




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