Emrys congratulates Candace Wiley for winning the 2018 Jo Ann Walker Poetry Scholarship. Candace was born in S.C., graduated with her B.A. from Bowie State University, an H.B.C.U. in M.D., her M.A. from Clemson University, and her M.F.A. at the University of South Carolina as a James Dickey Fellow. She is co-founder of The Watering Hole , a nonprofit that creates Harlem Renaissance-style spaces in the contemporary South, and she often writes in the mode of Afrofuturism, covering topics from black aliens, to mutants, to mermaids. She is a Fine Arts Work Center Fellow, Callaloo Fellow and former Fulbright Fellow to San Basilio de Palenque, Colombia, a town that was founded by West Africans who had escaped from Cartagena slavery. She is currently on faculty at Clemson University and is now living, writing, and running The Watering Hole from her Provincetown fellowship at FAWC.
The annual Hub City/Emrys Creative Writing Prizes have been awarded to Darlene Cah of Polk County in fiction. The contest, sponsored by the Hub City Writers Project and the Emrys Foundation, is open to adults in Greenville and Spartanburg counties, and Polk County, NC, newly introduced this year.
Darlene Cah of Spartanburg won the fiction contest for her story, “Jesus in the Window.” Of her work the judge said, "The author of 'Jesus in the Window' builds a vivid and living world detail by closely observed detail and word by precisely chosen word. We come to know not only a family but a community with a distinct culture and universal dreams. This story deserves to be read and enjoyed and remembered."
Darlene Cah used to improvise on stage in New York. Now she improvises with words in North Carolina. Her stories have appeared in various journals including Smokelong Quarterly, Referential Magazine, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Red Earth Review. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte.
The runner up this year, also in fiction, was Nancy Pemberton for her story “Horse Hunting.” Pemberton is a native of West Virginia, where she entered her Masters in Literature. She is currently an adjunct instructor at Isothermal Community College.
The winner of the Hub City/Emrys Upstate Writing Prize receives a full scholarship to Hub City’s Writing in Place Conference, held annually at Wofford College. The judge in the fiction contest was author Thomas McConnell of Spartanburg, author of the novel “The Wooden King,” forthcoming in May from Hub City Press.
The Hub City Writers Project is a non-profit organization in Spartanburg dedicated to cultivating readers and nurturing writers through its independent small press, community bookstore, and diverse literary programming that serves our community and beyond. The Emrys Foundation, based in Greenville, nurtures creativity among emerging and established writers.
Congratulations to the 2017 Emrys Chapbook Winner Mary B. Moore whose book, Amanda & The Man Soul is now available. Order your copy now!
Read the first poem in Amanda and the Man Soul and then keep on reading, as I did, straight through to the final poem. This is one of those books that can’t be put down, that overwhelms us with the mystery of what it means to be human and alive in a body, to be in possession of a soul, or maybe twin souls. We are, as Mary Moore writes of Van Gogh’s “Irises”, “The terrors his brush disclosed / bad gods among the beauties.” —Dorianne Laux