The Life of a Writer of Color

Writers of color are making quite an impact on the lit scene these days, and it’s been a long time coming. We are pleased to share that one of our own authors, Angie Chuang, received a great review in The Rumpus for her Pulitzer-Prize nominated book, The Four Words for Home.  What sets this review apart from other reviews she has received is this key point:

. . . I pose this as the most crucial: Angie Chuang’s The Four Words for Home is precisely the sort of book the literary community is referring to when diversity of voices comes into question. This isn’t a book written about the immigrant experience, or about the female condition in post-Taliban Afghanistan, but an empathetic and lived experience of a writer situated uniquely at an intersection of one and another, of here and there, of insider and outsider. There are too few books like it.

–Molly Beer, The Rumpus.net

Angie will host a workshop in Ann Arbor this September to discuss her book, but more importantly, she will discuss her own writing process for bringing her diverse voice to the fore. When she spoke at Busboys & Poets this past spring, I was most struck by her dedication to advancing the cause for WOCs and was moved by her conviction that Willow Books plays an integral role. We’ll keep doing our best to honor that conviction.

Lit Awards Judges Revealed

Ruth Ellen Kocher

Ruth Ellen Kocher

Andrew Pham

Andrew X. Pham

We are pleased to announce that the judges for our 2014-2015 Willow Books Literature Awards season are Ruth Ellen Kocher for poetry and Andrew X. Pham for prose. Ruth Ellen Kocher is the author of Ending in Planes (Noemi Press, 2014), Goodbye Lyric: The Gigans and Lovely Gun (Sheep Meadow Press, 2014), domina Un/blued (Tupelo Press, 2013), Dorset Prize winner and nominated for the 2014 PEN/Open Book Award, One Girl Babylon (New Issues Press, 2003) Green Rose Prize winner, When the Moon Knows You’re Wandering (New Issues Press, 2002), and Desdemona’s Fire (Lotus Press 1999), winner of the Naomi Long Madgett Prize. Her poems have appeared in various anthologies including, Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poets, Black Nature, From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great, An Anthology for Creative Writers: The Garden of Forking Paths, IOU: New Writing On Money, New Bones: Contemporary Black Writing in America. She has been awarded fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation, the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets, and Yaddo. She is a Contributing Editor at Poets & Writers Magazine and has taught poetry writing for the University of Missouri, Southern Illinois University, the New England College Low Residency MFA program, the Indiana Summer Writer’s Workshop, and Washington University’s Summer Writing program. She is Associate Chair and Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Colorado where she teaches Poetry, Poetics, and Literature.

Glad and honored to be a part of the good effort!”–Andrew X. Pham

Andrew X. Pham is the award-winning author of Catfish and Mandala and The Eaves of Heaven. He is also the translator of Last Night I Dreamed of Peace. He is a Whiting Writer and a Guggenheim Fellow. Winner of the Kiriyama Prize, Andrew is also a NBCC Award Finalist. His books have been on eight Top Ten Books of the Year lists. He is an independent writer, journalist, culinary professional, aerospace engineer, and the founder of Spoonwiz, an online publishing platform created by writers for writers.  

The Willow Books Literature Awards recognize literary excellence in prose and poetry by writers from culturally diverse backgrounds. The 2014 Grand Prize winners are David Garvin and Rachelle Linda Escamilla.

The submission deadline for entries is Monday, December 1, 2014. Visit our Submittable pages for full guidelines.