The GLCA New Writers Award Winning Writers – On Tour

The New Writers Award, now in its 49th year, provides students of GLCA’s member colleges with the opportunity to meet and engage with writers of promise who have won distinction in a first-published volume of fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction.  Judges of this national contest are faculty members of our GLCA member colleges in the fields of creative writing and literature.  

The 2019 winner for Creative Non-fiction is Dawn Davies, Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir in Pieces, published by Flatiron Books.  Judges in Creative Non-fiction were:  Matthew Ferrence (Allegheny), Marin Heinritz (Kalamazoo), Rhoda Janzen (Hope).  Our GLCA judges note:

Dawn Davies’ Mothers of Sparta deftly weaves her experiences as a woman with a simplicity of language, an elegant structure and a depth of emotion in these often redemptive essays. "Mothers of Sparta," among the book’s most powerful pieces of writing, explores parenting with compassion and responsibility, making a significant contribution to our cultural conversation about disability. These essays examine our modern ways of being and becoming.

The 2019 winner for Poetry is Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Cenzontle, published by BOA Editions, Ltd.  Judges in poetry were:  David Baker (Denison), Joe Heithaus (DePauw), and Lynn Powell (Oberlin).  Our GLCA judges note:

Castillo’s narrative itself couldn’t be more timely and significant:  it’s a story of undocumented immigrants, border crossing, transgression, and the tantalizing fictions and facts of the American dream.  To read these poems is to participate in a journey – and an unexpected one towards illumination and the complexities of longing and belonging.  Castillo’s sweep is large but his voice is particular and clarified.  This is mature, engaged poetry.

The 2019 winner for Fiction is Lesley Nneka Arimah, What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky, published by Riverhead Books.  Judges in Fiction were:  Danit Brown (Albion), Eric Freeze (Wabash), and Jennifer Hayward (Wooster).  Our GLCA judges note:

Lesley Nneka Arimah's larger themes explore generational conflict, transnational migrations, and the unexpected ways that the past can reach forward to throw the present off course. Her voice is always assured, the writing often beautiful and occasionally breathtaking. These characters have stories they want to tell – about family, especially mothers and daughters; about love and its dangers; about the struggle of women to be heard against the social chorus of gendered expectations.

Each of these writers has received invitations to visit several GLCA members colleges to give readings and meet with students and faculty in the fall or spring of this year.  Check the Events page of this web site to see where these writers will be.  For a fuller account of the writers and their achievements, see the GLCA New Writers Award Newsletter.  For questions about the visits of NWA winners, contact Colleen Monahan Smith of the GLCA: [email protected]