Department of English

Congratulations to the 2019 Keene Prize Winners

Thu, May 2, 2019
Congratulations to the 2019 Keene Prize Winners
Photos by Brian Birzer






Introducing the 2019 Keene Prize Winners:

Raye Hendrix is a graduating poet from the New Writers Project in the Department of English.  Last year she was a Keene finalist, and this year she has won the $50,000 Keene Prize for Literature for her collection of poems, The Epithets of Local Shells. Raye received her BA and MA from Auburn University, and next year she is going to the University of Oregon to do a PhD in Contemporary Poetry with a focus in Queer/Crip Studies. She has published poems in The Andironack Review, Shenandoah, The Pinch, and Rattle. Since then, her vita has exploded with new publications, in Tinderbox, Nightjar Review, elsewhere, and Glass. The Screen Door Review nominated her for a Pushcart Prize, and the Southern Indiana Review awarded her its Patricia Arkhus Prize. Raye’s poetry vividly evokes life and death on a farm in the rural South, in which the speaker confronts not only the violence inherent in the cycle of natural events, like catching, gutting, and eating fish, or slaughtering and bleeding hogs, but the unnatural violence aimed against those who don’t fit in to the cycle of heterosexual pairing and reproduction.





 The Finalists:

Sindya Bhanoo is a third-year fiction writer in the Michener Center for Writers, who got her BA in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon and a Masters of Journalism from UC Berkeley.  She has a long and interesting interdisciplinary resume, that encompasses the US Patent Office, Social Work in India, and Journalism, including stints at the Washington Post and the New York Times. Last year she was a Keene finalist too. This year she has won for her two short stories Malliga Homes Farewell and Dolphin Encounter.  









Tracey Rose is a fiction writer in her second year at the Michener Center.  Tracey got her BA from Howard University in Radio, Television and Film, with a film concentration. She has published stories and excerpts from a novel in Prairie Schooner, Obsidian, Guernica, Vandal Journal, Elimae, and Pank Magazine.  She is a Keene finalist for her story, “The Last Days of Rodney,” a meditation on the gentrification of Austin’s original African American neighborhood, Clarksville, which was founded by freed slaves.  









 Hedgie Choi was born in Korea, came to America at the age of seven, returned to Korea at seventeen, and got her undergraduate degree in Information and Interaction Design at the prestigious Yonsei University in Seoul. Hedgie is now a first-year poet, fiction writer and translator in the Michener Center for Writers. Her publications to date are mostly translations from the Korean, and in her collection Customs she has developed her own reckoning with what she calls her “national identity angst.” 



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