Shenandoah, the literary review of Washington and Lee University in Virginia, announced today that Aaron Baker of Charlottesville, Virginia, has been selected as winner of the 2009 Shenandoah/Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers. The $2,500 prize honors his first poetry collection, Mission Work (Houghton Mifflin, 2008), winner of the 2007 Bakeless Prize in poetry from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.
Shenandoah/Glasgow Prize judge Alice Friman says that the book, evocative of Baker’s experiences as a child of missionaries in Papua New Guinea, illuminates "the essential mystery that underlies all things."
Prior to the release of his collection, Baker received his MFA from University of Virginia and spent time as a Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford University. He teaches at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.
The Shenandoah/Glasgow Prize, given for a debut book of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction, will be given again in 2010 for a collection of stories. The deadline to submit a published book and an unpublished new story—the winning author’s piece will be published in Shenandoah—is March 31, 2010. Next year’s prize is two thousand dollars.
Past Shenandoah/Glasgow Prize winners are:
Margot Singer in fiction for The Pale of Settlement (University of Georgia Press, 2007), selected by Cathryn Hankla
Emily Rosko in poetry for Raw Goods Inventory (University of Iowa Press, 2006), selected by Sarah Kennedy
Bret Anthony Johnston in fiction for Corpus Christi: Stories (Random House, 2004), selected by Donald Secreast
Rebecca McClanahan in creative nonfiction for The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings (University of Georgia Press, 2002), selected by Jeffrey Hammond
Catherine Barnett in poetry for Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced (Alice James Books, 2004), selected by Robert Wrigley
Ann Pancake in fiction for Given Ground (University Press of New England, 2001), selected by David Jauss
Christopher Cokinos in creative nonfiction for Hope Is a Thing With Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds (Tarcher/Putnam, 2000), selected by Kim Barnes
Talvikki Ansel in Poetry for My Shining Archipelago (Yale University Press, 1997), selected by R. T. Smith