J David Cummings Wins Snyder Prize

By Sarah M. Wells

December 5, 2013

Congratulations to J David Cummings, winner of the 2013 Richard Snyder Publication Prize!  Cummings' manuscript, Tancho, was selected by Alicia Ostriker, who had the following to say about Tancho:

“Tancho is a book that needed to be written and needs to be read.  Its account of terrible beauty is itself beautiful, speaking of "hope and despair, the promise of each to other."  Nagasaki, Hiroshima, "ruined human beings," a peace park, a sounding bell, a thousand paper cranes.  Does the arc of history bend toward hope?  One of the many haunting poems in this book describes the body of a boy in one of Yamahata-san's photographs of Nagasaki after the bomb, and concludes with a haiku:

There are butterflies
   warming in broken sunlight--
wake up, child, wake up.

 Perhaps we, all humanity, is that child.”

Deborah Fleming, the series editor, selected the following finalists for the contest:

  • Set Fire, Viva Barrows
  • Shapes That Hang in Air, Nick Foster
  • Crave, Christine Gelineau
  • Night of the Perseids, Ilyse Kusnetz
  • Carried Along on Wheels, Alison Luterman
  • Amid the Alien Corn, Peter McDonald
  • Original Bodies, Doug Ramspeck
  • Telling the Bees, Faith Shearin
  • Tread Softly, Diana Woodcock

Congratulations to all of our fine finalists.

Next year's competition will be judged by Angie Estes.  The deadline is April 30, 2014.

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This man and his work are too beautiful for this world, but oh, aren't we glad the Fates haven't discovered this yet. How can unimaginable destruction and the endless transgressions committed on these two cities become transmuted to a delicate, sharply defined, yet ephemerally drawn portrait of one of mankind's most dark and infinite moments.
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