College of Liberal Arts

College of Liberal Arts Awards Keene Prize for Literature to Michener Center Graduate Student

Mon, Apr 28, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas — Mark Hitz, a graduate student in the James A. Michener Center for Writers at The University of Texas at Austin, has won the $50,000 Keene Prize for Literature for his two stories: “Shadehill" and "The Laws of Motion."

The Keene Prize is one of the world's largest student literary prizes. An additional $50,000 will be divided among three finalists. The recipients are all graduate students in the James A. Michener Center for Writers.

  • Alen Hamza (poetry, “Twice there Was a Country”)

  • Rachel Kondo (fiction, “Beverly”)

  • Corey Miller (poetry, “Onyxed Eden”)

“The jury found it hard to select the winners from among so many moving, exciting and beautifully written entries, but we were all compelled by Mark’s evocation of catastrophic situations disrupting apparently successful families,” says Elizabeth Cullingford, professor and chair in the Department of English.

Established in 2006 in the College of Liberal Arts, the Keene Prize is named after E.L. Keene, a 1942 graduate of the university, who envisioned an award that would enhance and enrich the university's prestige and reputation in the international market of American writers.

The competition is open to all university undergraduate and graduate students, and the prize is awarded annually to the student who creates the most vivid and vital portrayal of the American experience in microcosm. Students submit poetry, plays and fiction or non-fiction prose.

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