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The 2017 Firecracker Award Winners

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On June 6, our judges revealed the 2017 Firecracker Award winners in Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Poetry, and Magazines (Best Debut & General Excellence), before a packed audience in NYC’s Poets House. We extend jubilant congratulations to the five winning publications listed below, along with the rest of our finalists, and all who submitted this year. For each winner, a statement by this year’s judges follows, illuminating why that publication will make a lasting contribution to literary culture.

FICTION

Eve Out of Her Ruins (Deep Vellum), Ananda Devi, translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman

The Ananda Devi of Eve Out of Her Ruins is a woman of few words, but it’s clear from the very first page that she’s a master craftsperson of precision, vibrancy and voice. Through the distinct narratives of four young Mauritians, she unfolds a kaleidoscope of elegiac poeticism and harrowing immediacy, magically bestowing brilliance to the dark and violent corners of their lives. Eve Out of Her Ruins twists the reader’s mind into a brutally honest and heartbreaking knot, which cannot be undone. —Jarrod Annis, Paul Lisicky, and Pia Padukone

CREATIVE NON-FICTION

Calamities (Wave Books), Renee Gladman

In Renee Gladman’s energetic and witty essay collection, Calamitiesshe opens each piece with “I began the day,” but where she lands is often unexpected, grounded in the personal and the corporeal. “I was a body and it was a page and we both had our proverbial blankness,” she says. Her everyday existence, more often than not made up of “non-events,” provides endless opportunities to reflect on her life as a writer. As Jarrod Annis of Lit Hub and Greenlight Bookstore says, Gladman is “one of the great hybridizers of contemporary letters.” —Michele Filgate, Alexandra Kleeman, and Alison Gore

POETRY

Buck Studies (Fence), Douglas Kearney

Douglas Kearney knows how to swing a myth up against the wall, crack it open, then put the pieces back together. Buck Studies is a powerfully urgent publication, tied together by stellar use of the visual—a hallmark of Kearney’s work. Here he is a sort of trickster poet, shifting our vision from one side of the crossroads to the other until we are not sure if there is a road to be traveled. Flickering through race, cultural matter, and time, he masterfully stretches the absurd to tease out the real. One might say it is the Kearney way, and Fence has employed top notch production chops to realize this complex vision. —Camille Drummond and Patricia Spears Jones

MAGAZINE – BEST DEBUT

Bennington Review

Bennington Review is a stunning re-debut, having previously launched in 1966 and 1978, full of innovative and risk-taking prose and poetry. Its commitment to diverse voices cements its status as a journal to watch. We look forward to seeing what new artists its editors discover. —Maribeth Batcha, Ellen Duffer, Brigid Hughes, and Minna Proctor 

MAGAZINE – GENERAL EXCELLENCE

Prairie Schooner

Prairie Schooner, an example of continued excellence in the university environment, delivers outstanding writing without fail, highlighting an array of styles and perspectives from new and established writers alike. Though it was established in 1926, it is still a source of solid work that we know, upon picking it up, that we will love. —Maribeth Batcha, Ellen Duffer, Brigid Hughes, and Minna Proctor 

Periodically Speaking: Immigrant Voices

at the NYPL, June 13, 2017

2017 Firecracker Finalists Announced!

Fiction, Poetry, & Creative Non-Fiction

Join us for PRESS FEST!

Indie Lit Book Fair on May 5 2017

Poets Read Fiction

April 4, 2017 at Berl's

CLMP Supports Free Speech

We condemn delegitimizing media

Writing & Publishing the Disabled Voice

at the NYPL, March 21 2017