The winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry for 2012 is Orlando Ricardo Menes for his manuscript, Fetish. He will receive a $3,000 prize and publication by the University of Nebraska Press.
“Menes is an accomplished poet who has managed to evolve a language that seems determined to encapsulate the broadest and most compelling notion of America that embraces both the northern and southern continents,” says Kwame Dawes, editor of Prairie Schooner. “His poems reveal a formal dexterity that is awe inspiring, and his poems are rich with delight and full fascination with the human experience. His is a bold and inventive imagination. Our readers, we believe, will share our enthusiasm for Fetish.”
Menes was born in Lima, Perú, to Cuban parents but has lived most of his life in the United States. Since 2000 he has taught at the University of Notre Dame where he now directs the creative writing program. In addition to Fetish, he is also the author of Furia (Milkweed) and Rumba atop the Stones (Peepal Tree). His poems have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including The Hudson Review, Callaloo, The Antioch Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Alaska Quarterly Review, Indiana Review, Image, and Shenandoah. Menes is editor of Renaming Ecstasy: Latino Writings on the Sacred (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe) and The Open Light: Poets from Notre Dame, 1991-2008 (University of Notre Dame Press). Besides his own poems, Menes has published translations of Spanish poetry, including My Heart Flooded with Water: Selected Poems by Alfonsina Storni (Latin American Literary Review Press). He is the recipient of a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
ABOUT PRAIRIE SCHOONER: Prairie Schooner, a national literary quarterly published with the support of the English Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska Press, is home to the best fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews being published today by beginning, mid-career, and established writers.
To celebrate Prairie Schooner’s tenth birthday, associate editor Maurice Johnson wrote in the Spring 1937 issue, “Like other little magazines, the Schooner was not published for money's sake, paid nothing for contributions, and sought to print the work of new writers not yet accepted by the wealthy, policy-bound periodicals. Unlike most little magazines, the Schooner has been long-lived . . . and it has published the early work of more than twenty writers whose subsequent appearances in print have brought them general recognition.”
Johnson’s vision has been upheld during our more than eighty-five years of publication and the modest figure of twenty writers has swelled to literally hundreds of authors who got their start at Prairie Schooner before the mainstream publishing houses took a first look. The magazine has presented work by Pulitzer Prize winners, Nobel laureates, National Endowment for the Arts recipients, and MacArthur and Guggenheim fellows. Work first published in Prairie Schooner has been reprinted or cited in the Pushcart Prize and O. Henry Prize volumes, Best American Essays, Best American Short Stories, and Best American Poetry.
For more information about Prairie Schooner including submissions, subscriptions and contests, visit the journal’s website.
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