By Jessica Jacobs, Editor-in-Chief
Sycamore Review is proud to announce that best-selling memoirist and award-winning poet Mary Karr will be selecting the winner of the 2012 Wabash Prize for Nonfiction, who will receive $1,000 and publication. All submissions will be considered for publication.
Since 2005, the Wabash Prizes have celebrated new and established writers of fiction and poetry. We have begun the Nonfiction Prize in response to the deluge of requests received from contributors and subscribers, as well as part of our renewed focus on this ever-evolving genre. And we couldn’t have asked for a more exciting judge for this first contest. Karr is the author of three memoirs in which she delves into her life with great honesty, humor, and lyricism: The Liars’ Club, which was a New York Times bestseller for over a year, Cherry, and …MORE
By Shavonne Clarke, Nonfiction Co-Editor
Hi all. I’m Shavonne Clarke, now working with Josh Diamond as one half of the nonfiction contingent here. I grew up in Great Falls, Virginia and received a BA from Sweet Briar College and an MA from Texas A&M University, both in English. Currently I live in Lafayette, Indiana as an MFA student in fiction at Purdue University.
I’m very excited to be reading and helping to select this year’s nonfiction pieces. As a fiction reader, I was frequently impressed by the caliber of writing submitted to Sycamore. In this case, I also have the honor of “induction,” in some sense, into other lives and experiences. Because creative nonfiction seems such an expansive genre, I look forward to seeing how those truths find their own expression.
If you’d like to read more on the preferred aesthetics of each submission, …MORE
by Joshua Diamond, Nonfiction Co-Editor
Hello Sycamore fans. My Name is (what?) Josh Diamond. I was born in Akron, Ohio. My Akron stays home on the weekends. Rubber Capitol of the world, but she don’t make tires no more. The Goodyear Blimp used to live here. So did I. I studied English, Sociology, and Writing at nearby Kent State University, and edited the Stark Campus literary journal Canto. While at Kent I met Cindy Kelly, Editor and founder of Amsterdam Press, and worked as her Fiction Editor at Plain Spoke, a quarterly literary magazine project. I also repaired guitars for a living. Now I live in Lafayette, Indiana and am pursuing an MFA in Poetry at Purdue University.
Nonfiction is sort of the red-headed stepchild genre. Instead of trying to change that, I embrace it. Sycamore only has room for one or two pieces of creative nonfiction per …MORE
BY AMY HOLWERDA
When the doctor told me, days after I had been spread eagle in his stirrups feeling him scrape, scrape, scrape inside me, that it was the early stages of cancer, he was full of questions. “Does cancer run in your family?”
“Yes, I think so,” I said, telling him about Grandpa.
“I see,” was the ready response. “And what about your mother’s side?”
My grandmother falls, I wanted to say. She has had every kind of cancer, parts of her body have been hacked away leaving gaping holes, scars. But these things do not matter, not when someone else’s blood is pulsing through my veins.
When my mother went searching for the family that abandoned her, her birth mother told her to stop looking. I never want to meet you, she said. My mother gave her plenty of opportunities, told her she wanted nothing …MORE
BY LISA LEE
I stopped writing to my pen pal, Mary Wang, of Anchorage, Alaska, the year I started high school. Partly because my mother told me she was too ugly for me to be friends with, but mostly because I was terrified of being ugly myself.
Beginning from when I was ten years old until I was fourteen, I wrote over eighty letters to Mary, who must have also written over eighty letters back to me in Napa, California. My parents had immigrated to San Francisco from Seoul, Korea during the sixties; in the early seventies my parents moved to Napa, fifty miles north of San Francisco, because they enjoyed nature, open space, clean air, camping, hiking, and outdoor sports. They wanted to start a family in the country. They bought a large ranch house with glass walls and a guest house on five acres of property. Standing …MORE