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Shenandoah Announces 2016 Prize Winners

Shenandoah: the Washington and Lee University Literary Review has announced its annual prize winners for 2016.

The volume 65 winner of the $1,000 James Boatwright Poetry Prize is David Wojahn, who teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University, for his poem “A Briefe Historie of the Noose in the Colonie of Virginia.”

Wojahn is the author of eight books of poems, including “World Tree,” and directs the Graduate Creative Writing Program at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has also received the Weinstein Prize for Poetry awarded by the Library of Virginia and the Yale Younger Poets Prize for “Icehouse Lights.” Wojahn has been a Pulitzer Prize finalist and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. His winning poem, which appears in the Spring 2016 issue, is a harrowing recount of brutal hangings in the Commonwealth.

The winners of the Carter Prize for the Essay and the Shenandoah Prize for Fiction are, respectively, Cynthia Lewis, of Davidson, North Carolina, for her essay “Return Engagement: The Haunting of Hamlet and Dale Earnhardt Jr.,” and Ron Reikki, of Neguanee, Michigan, for his story “Accidents,” both from the fall 2015 issue.

The Dana Professor of English at Davidson, Lewis is the author of “Particular Sinister: Shakespeare’s Four Antonios,” “Their Contexts and Their Plays” and is at work on a collection of essays, “The Game’s Afoot: Sports and Shakespeare.” Her prize-winning essay addresses questions of filial legacy, guilt and empowerment, both on the theatrical stage and on the NASCAR circuit.

A novelist and short story writer, Reikki has published several books, including the novels “U. P.” and “The Way North.” Raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, he was a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference and has written several screenplays. His winning story is the troubling monologue of a first responder on a particularly challenging night.

Shenandoah’s prizes are not the result of a traditional contest with a submission deadline but have for several decades been chosen from among the work selected for publication in the journal during a volume year. All work in Shenandoah is eligible for the prizes in their appropriate genres, but special submissions are not considered.