The University Press of Kentucky recently announced a new book series in collaboration with Centre College. The University Press of Kentucky New Poetry & Prose Series will feature contemporary poetry and fiction by select authors throughout the United States and will be edited by award-winning poet Lisa Williams, Paul L. Cantrell Associate Professor of English and director of the creative writing program at Centre.
According to Williams, the series seeks to publish creative works that exhibit a profound attention to language, strong imagination, formal inventiveness and awareness of one’s literary roots. With two books published each academic year, the collaborative project ultimately provides an opportunity to discover new talent, and Williams says she is delighted to contribute to that process.
“This is a dream come true for me—I’ve always wanted to play a role in bringing deserving writing to light,” she explains. “Publishing has become increasingly difficult. It can be a real challenge to find an editor who gets what you are trying to do and is willing to champion your work, especially if your voice is a newer or unrecognized one.”
While submissions continue to be accepted for the series competition, the University Press of Kentucky recently named the first two authors selected for publication in the next academic year. Works by poet Brianna Noll (Chicago, Ill.) and fiction writer Rion Amilcar Scott (Silver Spring, Md.) were chosen from more than 120 submissions and, according to Williams, represent some of the most innovative and powerful work in new American writing.
“This is a great new opportunity for writers nationwide, and I’m very grateful to the University Press of Kentucky, their staff, editors and board for making this possible,” she says. “I’m also grateful to President John Roush and Dean Stephanie Fabritius for supporting this collaborative project.”
Williams, who has served on Centre’s faculty since 2001, is the author of three collections of poetry, Gazelle in the House (2014), Woman Reading to the Sea (2008) and The Hammered Dulcimer (1998). Throughout her career, she has received numerous awards for her literary work, including the Rome Prize, the Barnard Women Poets Prize, the May Swenson Poetry Award, an Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council and a Brown Foundation Fellowship.
Other noted authors from across the nation will serve in an advisory capacity for the new poetry and prose collaboration, providing a sense of the quality and innovation sought for the series through the example of their own writing. The advisory board includes Camille Dungy, Rebecca Morgan Frank, Silas House, Davis McCombs and Roger Reeves.
by Amy Clark Wise
December 16, 2015
Submissions of poetry and fiction are accepted for University Press of Kentucky New Poetry & Prose Series between April 15 and June 1, 2016. Submissions postmarked no later than June 1 should be mailed to University Press of Kentucky, Attn: New Poetry and Fiction, 663 S. Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40508.