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José Perez Beduya Awarded Emerging Writer’s Residency

José Perez Beduya has been named the winner of the Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize.

Beduya will be in residence on the campus of Lake Forest College from February 1 to March 31, 2011, where he will work to complete his winning manuscript, Throng. He will receive $10,000 and, upon editorial approval, the finished book will be published by the &NOW Books imprint of Lake Forest College Press, with distribution by Northwestern University Press. He will also take part in the Lake Forest Literary Festival and offer a series of public presentations while in residence at the College.

The Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize is awarded to an author under forty years old with no major book publication. This year’s winner was selected by guest judge and poet Jennifer Moxley from a field of six finalists chosen by the editors of Lake Forest College Press / &NOW Books. Ms. Moxley’s latest book is Clampdown (Flood Editions, 2009), which has received enthusiastic reviews in such publications as Ploughshares and The Nation.

Of the winning manuscript, Jennifer Moxley writes, “Jose Perez Beduya’s manuscript-in-progress Throng intelligently layers literary, political, and spiritual registers into a subtly moving work. Throughout Beduya’s manuscript, a shimmering subjectivity—sometimes singular, more often plural—emits an intermittent signal, coming in and out of view like some mysterious lost “other” flashing a pocket mirror against the sun in hope of rescue. Historically and geographically displaced, the desiderata of this gentle “we” yet remains the interconnection between human beings. It is common now in poetry to condemn what’s wrong with the world. This makes sense, since so much is so. Less common are songs of spirit and of the existential urgency that does not fade even when everything else is broken.…. His control of form guides the reader into hearing his music while he carefully unfolds the lyric event of each poem.”

The Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize is made possible by a donation from a local philanthropist who was impressed by the College’s recently established publishing enterprise, Lake Forest College Press / &NOW Books. The previous winners are Jessica Savitz, whose poetry book Hunting Is Painting will be published in October 2010, and Gretchen E. Henderson, whose work of fiction Galerie de Difformité will be published in October 2011. The series editor is Joshua Corey.

Emerging writers interested in applying for the 2012 residency—in prose or mixed cross-genre—should send a curriculum vita, no more than 30 pages of a manuscript in progress with a  separate cover page, and a one-page statement of plans for completion to: Plonsker Residency, Department of English, Lake Forest College, Box A16, 555 N. Sheridan Road, Lake Forest, IL 60045. The author’s name should appear only on the cover page of the manuscript sample. Submissions must be postmarked by April 1, 2011 for consideration by editors Robert Archambeau, Davis Schneiderman, and Joshua Corey. The guest judge will be announced in the coming months. Please send direct inquiries to andnow@lakeforest.edu with the subject line: Plonsker Prize.

The 2011 Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize Finalists and Semifinalists:

Winner: José Perez Beduya, Ithaca, NY – Throng

First runner-up: Jasmine Dreame Wagner, Southbury, CT – Registers Vanishing

Second runner-up: Mary Hickman, Iowa City, IA – Totem

Finalists:

Geoffrey Babbitt, Findlay, OH – Wind on a Hook

Amaranth Borsuk, Pasadena, CA – Handiwork

Claire Elisabeth Donato, Brooklyn, NY – Off to the Nervous Museum

Semifinalists:

Julie Phillips Brown , Ithaca, NY – The Adjacent Possible

C.M. Burroughs, Pittsburgh, PA – The Vital System 

Ryan Downey, South Bend, IN – MAW MAW

Steffi Drewes , Emeryville, CA – untitled

Katherine E. Factor, Idyllwild, CA – Many Had Parasols

Nina Budabin McQuown , Brooklyn, NY – Cruise Ship

Sara Nicholson, Philadelphia, PA – untitled

Robert Ostrom, Brooklyn, NY – Stands Outside

Catherine Theis , Chicago, IL – The Fraud of Good Sleep