Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Isabella David Wins
Eighth Annual Danahy Fiction Prize

ISABELLA DAVID OF RIDGFIELD, CONNECTICUT, has been selected as winner of the eighth annual Danahy Fiction Prize by the editors of Tampa Review. She will receive a cash award of $1,000 and her winning short story, “If the Meek Inherit the Earth, They'll Have Sons-of-Bitches for Lawyers,” will be published in the Fiftieth Anniversary Issue of Tampa Review.
     David is a French-American writer and actress, whose short story was partly inspired by her experiences as a “law spouse” at Washington and Lee University.
   “There were no other grad students in Lexington, so law spouses complained about being the odd men out (though most of us were women),” David says. “I got all the benefits of a small, tight-knit community without actually attending. The Black Law Student Association’s poetry meetings were the first time I read any of my writing aloud, and. . . . I became braver about sending my work out to be published instead of sitting on it as I’d been mostly doing. Now most of my friends are lawyers, and it was a wonderful opportunity for a shy writer.”
     David earned her degree in Comparative Literature and Languages from the University of Virginia, graduating early as an Echols scholar. She spent her senior year teaching high school French and English at a boarding school in Colorado. Subsequently, she moved to New York and began acting professionally on stage and in films in English and French. Along the way, in 2007 she won an award for Best in Festival at the Bad Plays Festival and in 2011, she wrote, directed and starred in a one-act play produced by Centerstage’s Friend Me Festival in Manhattan.
     David’s work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Lascaux Review, Slippery Elm, Contemporary Haibun, Interrupt Mag, The First Line Literary Magazine, Adbusters, Every Day Fiction, Every Day Poets, Postcard Shorts, and Postcard Poems & Prose among other places online and in print.
This year the judges also named six finalists for the Danahy Prize:

“Ruint Horse” by Thomas Atkinson of Anderson Township, Ohio;
“The Beer Garden” by Jill Birdsall of Rumson, N.J.;
“My Friend Bobby” by Michael Cuglietta of Orlando, Fla.;
“Fun With Color” by Dana Fitz Gale of Missoula, Montana;
“Natural Order” by Laurie Frankel of Corona Del Mar, Calif.; and
“For Mr. Potenza” by Ian Walters of Lafayette, Calif.

     The Danahy Fiction Prize was established by Paul and Georgia Danahy as an annual award for a previously unpublished work of short fiction judged by the editors of Tampa Review, the faculty-edited literary journal of the University of Tampa, published twice yearly in a distinctive hardback format and this year celebrating fifty years of literary publishing. Subscriptions are $22 annually, and those received before June will begin with the issue featuring David’s prize-winning story. The Danahy Fiction Prize is open to both new and widely published writers, with an annual postmark deadline of November 1. The $20 entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Tampa Review, and all entries submitted are considered for publication.

     Complete guidelines are available on the Web at or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to The Danahy Fiction Prize, University of Tampa Press, 401 West Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606.

Friday, September 20, 2013

John Bensko Wins Anita Claire Scharf Award

Tennessee writer John Bensko has been selected as winner of the second annual Anita Claire Scharf Award by the editors of Tampa Review. His new poetry manuscript, Visitations, will be published in Spring 2014 by the University of Tampa Press and the poet will be invited to read on the University of Tampa campus after the book is published next year.
     The Anita Claire Scharf Award is given to support publication of a book of poetry submitted to the annual Tampa Review Prize competition that significantly exemplifies or explores the interrelatedness of visual and verbal art and the interconnectedness of global cultures. The award is named in honor of the founding editorial assistant, and later associate and contributing editor, of Tampa Review who helped define the aesthetic and global values that are part of the journal’s mission.
     “This manuscript pushes beyond all kinds of borders,” said Richard Mathews, editor of Tampa Review, who worked with Scharf on the journal for more than seventeen years. “Anita always fostered thinking outside the box, and this prize manuscript pushes readers to enlarge their vision through imaginative leaps across time, space, and circumstance. And like Anita, Bensko has a special appreciation for the natural world, ecology, and visual art.

     “The poems of Visitations clearly delight in nature images—blooming lilacs, Sweet William, bayberry, persimmon, and even hornets with their ‘papery nest.’ We are unmoored from time and place to explore what it means to be fully human. It might be to savor a continuous strand of Southern culture—sugar cane, tobacco leaf, eroded fields, and old barns. But Bensko’s poems are visitations to multiple times and places and bodies. He allows us to inhabit both sides of a war, to move from the Hudson River Valley to Mississippi, or to
draw our souls through sheep, oxen, and shark. ”

     John Bensko’s previous three poetry books are Green Soldiers (winner of the Yale Younger Poets Award, Yale University Press), The Waterman’s Children (University of Massachusetts Press), and The Iron City (University of Illinois Press). He also has a story collection, Sea Dogs, published by Graywolf Press. His work has appeared in Georgia Review, Iowa ReviewNew England Review, New Letters, Poetry, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, The Southern ReviewShenandoah, and many other periodicals.

     He has been a Fulbright Professor at the University of Alicante in Alicante, Spain; and he teaches a summer creative writing course there through the University of Memphis, where he is a full-time faculty member along with his wife, the fiction writer Cary Holladay.

     “This manuscript shows remarkable craftsmanship and a sensitive ear for language,” Mathews adds. “The judges sensed the whole book coming together through metaphors from visual art near the end: ‘The brush along the canvas/leaves no more than a whisper. Still /the finished canvas must claim a voice.’ Bensko makes the universe into a canvas in the conclusion of this poem when he writes: ‘Above the leaves, heaven/cuts through
eyelids./It paints the body human/into the unseen gorges of the earth.‘ It’s a beautiful and stunning finish that Anita—and any reader—would applaud.”

     The Anita Claire Scharf Award is selected by the editors of Tampa Review from among the manuscripts submitted to the annual prize competition. Submissions for next year’s awards are now being accepted.

     To be eligible, authors are asked to submit a previously unpublished booklength manuscript. Judging is by the editors of Tampa Review, who are members of the faculty at the University of Tampa. There is a contest fee of $25, but each submitter receives a complimentary one-year subscription to Tampa Review. Entries must follow published guidelines and must be postmarked by December 31, 2013. All entries will be considered for both the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry and the Anita Claire Scharf Award.

     Complete guidelines are available at or by sending a self-addressed,
stamped envelope to:

The Tampa Review Prizes
University of Tampa Press
401 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33606.

Congratulations to John Bensko! We're looking forward to the release of Visitations; watch for it in Spring 2014. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Michael Hettich Wins 2013 Tampa Review Prize

Michael Hettich, of Miami, Florida, has been named winner of the 2013 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry. Hettich receives the twelfth annual prize for his new manuscript, Systems of Vanishing. In addition to a $2,000 check, the award includes hardback and paperback book publication in Spring 2014 by the University of Tampa Press. 
Hettich was born and raised in New York City and its suburbs. He has lived in upstate New York, Colorado, northern Florida, Vermont, and Miami, where he presently resides with his wife, Colleen. His previous books of poetry include Like Happiness (Anhinga Press, 2010) and The Animals Beyond Us (New Rivers Press, 2011). His most recent chapbook, The Measured Breathing, won the 2011 Swan Scythe Chapbook Contest.
Tampa Review judges commented that the poems in Systems of Vanishing “take startling imaginative leaps, leaving the familiar world transformed.”
“This is no simple vanishing act, but something truly magical,” the judges said. “Hettich works with readily accessible language and images that seem familiar, but through lush metaphor and hypnotic music,  he makes new realities spring to life in tropical abundance.
“His flights of magical realism can start from practically nothing. One poem begins with ‘a ladder propped against the air’ and follows a girl who climbs up, looks higher into the stars, and keeps on ‘climbing/through the constellations and off across the dark/where no one could find her forever.‘ These poems lead us toward new constellations of meaning and leave us there, awed and amazed by the journey.”
Hettich’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Orion, Poetry East, Alaska Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, TriQuarterly, Mudlark, and The Sun, as well as in many textbooks and anthologies, and he has collaborated widely with visual artists and musicians throughout Florida and nationally. He teaches at Miami Dade College.
A selection of poems from Systems of Vanishing will appear as a “sneak preview” in the next issue of Tampa Review, the award-winning hardback literary journal published by the University of Tampa Press.  Hettich’s book will be published during National Poetry Month in April 2014 and launched with a reading tour of Florida sponsored by the Florida Literary Arts Coalition.
The judges also announced twelve finalists this year: 
Lavonne J. Adams of Wilmington, N.C., for “Small Wishes for Grown Women”;
Cory Brown of Rochester, New York, for “Out in the Deep”;
Sigman Byrd of Westminster, Colorado,  for “The Blue Heaven of Emptiness”;
William Greenway of Youngstown, Ohio for “Tripwires”; 
Tom Hansen of Custer, South Dakota, for “Body of Water, Body of Fire”; 
Julie Hanson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for “Charmed in What Regard”; 
Brian Patrick Heston of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for “If You Find Yourself”; 
Leonard Kress of Perrysburg, Ohio, for “Ransacking the Library”; 
Teresa Leo of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, for “Bloom in Reverse”; 
Rose McLarney of Franklin, North Carolina, for “Its Day Being Gone”; 
B. V. OlguĂ­n of San Antonio, Texas, for “Red Leather Gloves”;  and
Seth Brady Tucker of Lafayette, Colorado,  for “We Deserve the Gods We Ask For.”
Tampa Review Prize judges also chose a second winning manuscript for a new book publication prize, the Anita Claire Scharf Award.  The announcement of that winner will be forthcoming within a few weeks.
The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry is given annually for a previously unpublished booklength manuscript. Judging is by the editors of Tampa Review, who are members of the faculty at the University of Tampa. Submissions are now being accepted for 2014. Entries must follow published guidelines and must be postmarked by December 31, 2013.
Complete guidelines are available online or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry, University of Tampa Press, 401 West Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Changing of the Guard at Tampa Press

Summer has brought a changing of the guard at the University of Tampa Press, and it has been a time for words of fond farewell and hearty welcome.

Antonio Fasciano completed his MFA at Queens University of Charlotte this summer and has left his part-time position at the University of Tampa Press for full-time work. During his time here, Tony launched the UT Press monthly digital newsletter, led the complete revision of our online catalog, and helped to establish Tampa Review Online.  Along the way he found time to help out with some good, old-fashioned letterpress printing in the Book Arts Studio.

Tony is the creator and founding editor of Digital Americana Magazine, the first literary magazine made for the iPad, which was recently nominated for Digital Magazine Launch of the Year and Specialist Magazine of the Year.  His own writing has been published by various outlets—his favorite being included in Book: The Sequel by Perseus Books Group. 
 He will be missed.

Taking charge of the newsletter, other UTP digital domains, and occasional letterpress responsibilities is Joshua Steward,  a freelance illustrator and designer with a studio in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Josh is a graduate of the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, and previously served as an apprentice in letterpress printing at Yee-Haw Industries of Knoxville, Tennessee. 

In March of this year he began assisting in the Tampa Book Arts Studio, educating students about printing during class visits, proofing blocks, and most recently collaborating on the design of a broadside created for a special event at the TBAS with visiting author Denis Johnson. His experience with letterpress printing and his skills with graphic design and typography as well as digital media bring unique talents to the press. We’re looking forward to working with him!

Friday, July 5, 2013

London Lecture Features Emery Walker Memoir

Richard Mathews with John Cherry, of the Emery Walker Trust, who introduced him.  

University of Tampa Press Director Richard Mathews delivered the annual Peter Preston Memorial Lecture at Kelmscott House, Hammersmith, London, last month. His talk, entitled “Emery Walker: An Eye for Detail” explored the contributions Walker made to fine press publishing and fine art history through his use of the camera and through his personal attention to detail.

Emery Walker is recognized as both a practical and inspirational influence on William Morris’s Kelmscott Press. After Morris’s death, Walker continued to share and extend his creative influence on fine printing well into the twentieth century. He was a pioneering photoengraver, photographer, printer, businessman, and publisher and famously established the Doves Press, in partnership with T. J. Cobden-Sanderson, while continuing to produce the country’s best photogravure and photographic process work, as well as specialized map production and fine printing through his own firm, Emery Walker Ltd. 

Mathews based his talk in part on one of our recent publications—Sir Emery Walker: A Memoir by R. C. H. Briggs.  Copies of the book were available at the lecture and can be purchased online at this link.

Richard Mathews and Helen Elletson, Curator, in the print shop at Kelmscott House.
They are standing in front of one of the Albion iron hand presses used at the Kelmscott Press.

Tampa Bay History Reviews Going,
Going . . .  Almost Gone

The latest issue of Tampa Bay History includes a good review of Going, Going . . . Almost Gone: Life in Early Lutz and Central Pasco County by Elizabeth and Susan MacManus.  “If the authors’ purpose is to save and savor a past—unabashedly nostalgic—of a rural Florida lifestyle that has nearly vanished, they succeeded admirably, ” writes historian James M. Denham of Florida Southern College. “The authors vividly depict how settlements that coalesced around villages with names like Nowatney, Drexel, Ehren, Godwin, Greenfield, Tucker, Disston, and Denham (much to the chagrin of this reviewer) slowly disappeared. Taking their place on the map were ‘Land O’ Lakes’ and ‘Lutz’ just to the south.”

Professor Denham’s review points out that “the agrarian-to-suburban shift depicted here was also occurring in other regions of Florida” making this study in some senses representative or archetypal of change in the state.  He concludes with appreciation for the hundreds of photographs, documents, and stories gathered in the milestone 700-page work: “Fortunately Elizabeth and Susan MacManus saw fit to capture the images of time and place before they were lost from memory.  With pictures and easy-to-read captions on nearly every page, Going, Going . . . Almost Gone is a delight to sample at random or to read from beginning to end.”

Copies of the book are available through our online catalog at this link.  Their earlier book about this area, Citrus, Sawmills, Critters, and Crackers: Life in Early Lutz and Central Pasco County, also remains in print and can be ordered online by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Jennifer Key on National Poetry Month
Florida Book Tour

Celebrate National Poetry month with Jennifer Key, latest winner of the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry.  She will be reading at colleges and universities throughout the state of Florida from April 2 - April 11 as she launches her prize-winning book, The Old Dominion. The trip is sponsored in part by the Florida Literary Arts Coalition. For more information about the Florida Writer's Circuit please click here:

Book Tour Itinerary:
Tuesday, April 2: Flagler College
Wednesday, April 3: Valencia College
Thursday, April 4: University of Tampa
Friday, April 5: College of Central Florida, Ocala
Saturday, April 6: Edison State University
Monday, April 8: Miami Dade College
Tuesday, April 9: Eckerd College
Thursday, April 11: University of South Florida