Tag Archives: The St. Lawrence Book Award

Craig Bernier – Winner of the 2012 St. Lawrence Book Award!

We’re very pleased to announce the winner of the 2012 St. Lawrence Book Award. Congratulations to Craig Bernier for taking the prize with his short story collection Your Life Idyllic! Congratulations also go to the finalists and semi-finalists of this year’s St. Lawrence Book Award. Thanks to all who participated!Image

Craig Bernier is an instructor of writing at Duquesne University where he teaches composition, fiction and creative nonfiction workshops.  He is a graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit and was the Jacob K. Javits Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh from 2002 to 2005.  His stories have been published in The Roanoke Review, Western Humanities Review, Dogwood, Gigantic Sequins, and in a story anthology from Akashic Books titled Detroit Noir.  His nonfiction has appeared in the journal Creative Nonfiction.  Originally from southeastern Michigan, home is currently a stone’s throw from Pittsburgh, in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania.  He is at work on a novel and a collection of motorcycling essays.

The 2011 St. Lawrence Book Award – Finalists

All of the editors here at Black Lawrence Press are very pleased to present the finalists and semi-finalists for the 2011 St. Lawrence Book Award. We thank everyone who participated  and wish the best of luck to those who made it to the finalist round.

Poetry Finalists
Brenda Sieczkowski – Like Oysters Observing The Sun
Carolina Ebeid – Utopian Flying Machines of the Last Century
Darren Morris – The Future
Jennifer Beebe – Again an Oath in the Face of Absence
Jennifer Givhan – Red Sun Mother
Laura Donnelly – The Principle of Flickering
Russell Evatt – A Lake Instead of a Sea
Fiction Finalists
Adrian Van Young – The Man Who Noticed Everything: Tales
Christopher Bundy – Walking on the Moon
Joseph Ponepinto – Desperate Men, Desperate Measures
Joshua Green – Dirtyville Rhapsodies
Kelly Luce – Ms. Yamada’s Toaster
Lisa Gornick – Louisa Meets Bear
Mark Connelly – That Sardi’s Smile
Maureen Pilkington Rossi – Float And Other Stories This Side Of The Water
Roger Pincus – Waking Up in the Dark
Stace Budzko – Gimme Gimme Gimme: Stories
Steven Yates – Some Kinds of Love
Poetry Semi-Finalists
Annie Christain – Tall As You Are Tall between Them
Anthony Frame – A Generation of Insomniacs
Barbara Duffey – I Might Be Mistaken
James Najarian – Armenia, PA
Kathleen M Kelley – This Fickle Mind
Lucy Biederman Thirty – Years of Thursdays
Matthias Regan – Gapers’ Delay
Megan Lobsinger – The Last Chance Texaco
Michaela Essl – When you think you smell roses
Rebecca Kaiser Gibson – Listening In
Sara Talpos – Black Sea
Sarah Wangler – Bawl Ass
Fiction Semi-Finalists
Anne Valente – By Light We Knew Our Names
Jason Kapcala – North to Lakeville
Katey Schultz – Personae Of War
Kevin Lavey – Taking Possession
Rheea Mukherjee – In These Cities We Dreamed

The St. Lawrence Book Award Early Bird Special

Black Lawrence Press is now accepting submissions for the 2010 St. Lawrence Book Award, an annual award that is given for an unpublished collection of short stories or poems. The St. Lawrence Book Award is open to any writer who has not yet published a full-length collection of short stories or poems. The winner of this contest will receive book publication, a $1,000 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes are awarded on publication.

Previous winners of The St. Lawrence Book Award include Marcel Jolley, Stefi Weisburd, Jason Tandon, Fred McGavran, and Yelizaveta P. Renfro. Last year’s winner was Brad Ricca.

The entry fee for the prize is $25 and the deadline is August 31, 2010.

Because we know that many writers have been hit especially hard by the economic downturn, we are offering a fantastic early bird special. If you submit your manuscript to The St. Lawrence Book Award before June 30, 2010, we will only charge you the price of one of our titles. The choice is yours. Most of our titles are priced between $14 and $18. (And we carry great chapbooks that are only $9!)

Here’s how it works:

1) Go to www.blacklawrencepress.com.

2) Click on the “Books” button on the left side of the page.

3) Order a title that interests you.

4) Shortly after placing your order, you will receive an email from Paypal with your receipt. Keep that for your records. Don’t worry about forwarding it to us; we can cross-check everything on our end.

5) Send your cover letter and manuscript to editors@blacklawrencepress.com before June 30, 2010. In your cover letter, note the title that you purchased.

6) That’s it!

We look forward to reading your submissions!

-The Black Lawrence Press Team

National Poetry Month Spotlight: Stefi Weisburd


…………………………………..-acupuncture appointment

Naturally I think of Him when she taps the needle into the top of my foot.   So this is the oft-spoken-of willingness to be pricked on a deity’s meridian, blood beading up waxy like a bindi.   Under my skin, I picture migraine demons grown frantic as steel pokes through a pore;  Godzilla over Tokyo.   Dr. Li posts a lightning rod on the top of my head as if she were a pilgrim to the North Pole.   This is where pain pools after commuting from my neck in tiny axiomatic taxies.   Listen.   Behind my knee, the universe hums in its velvet bag.  Through my wrists, a pulse shimmers with electric eels.   I imagine leaking out through the needles, diffusing into the little room papered with Chinese music.   Imagine sleep gently tacked to the table like a beetle specimen.   How dream minions shriek and scatter when Dr. Li returns, bursting into the dark.   I have not yet been resurrected I want to proclaim but she is already extracting that desire.   Seven times she carries the needles, like offerings, to the red box.  Traffic outside is relentless.   She says go home little godling.   Put on your socks.

Q: Do you remember where you were and what you were doing on the day you wrote the above poem?

A: I wrote the poem at home. The poem was inspired by a series of acupuncture treatments for migraines I was receiving at the time. I’m not sure acupuncture helped my headaches, but it did stimulate my imagination! (New treatment for writer’s block?)

Q: What is the last book you’ve read that made you want to grab a pen and write?

A: Recently Reb Livingston’s work has ignited me, especially her crazy “translations” of religious text into a sizzling stream of extremely awake  language. Splattered nonsense that courses with subterranean meaning. It’s given me a way to write about subjects I have to approach askew, an outlet for my frustrated inarticulateness about the Bush Administration, for example.

Q: What is the most sublime meal you’ve ever eaten?

A: Anything my friends Kathy Medero and Mike Dougher cook make my knees buckle. An entire novel on my tongue.

Stefi Weisburd is the 2005  winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award with her poetry collection The Wind-Up Gods, which is available for purchase at Black Lawrence Press.

National Poetry Month Spotlight: Jason Tandon


It is my job for life to clear
a glacier from a deserted city block.
I’m given a garden spade
and an orange suit with reflective tape.

The street stretches beyond my sight
into a blue, cloudless sky, and to my right
one brick building, where Rachel sits
dangling her blistered feet over the roof’s edge.

She says she’s from the Bible.
Her story rings few bells.
In the end, her death in the desert
taught us only that beauty is skin deep.

I tell her the sun has lost its power to thaw
and of a vague sense that I’m saving lives.
I heave the spade into the ice and feel no muscle strain,
only the chips that fly and tick my face.

The ice re-forms. I chisel faster.
Wiping my forehead, I steal looks at her legs
to break this eternity into instants,
to tell my friends at the bar when they ask.

Q: Do you remember where you were and what you were doing on the day you wrote the above poem?

A:  I started the poem after a dream I had in which I was chipping away at a glacier. Someone asked me what I was doing, and I though I didn’t respond, I had a “vague sense that I was saving lives.” This was in the fall of 2004, I was living in Newmarket, NH and had just started my MFA at UNH. The poem took a couple of months, I think.

Q: What is the last book you’ve read that made you want to grab a pen and write?

A: Actually, I just had a week off and read Mark Strand’s Man and Camel, Twenty Poems of Tomas Transtromer (translated by Bly), and Jack Gilbert’s The Great Fires — all of them, for different reasons, made me want to write. It takes me a long time to read a book of poems. I am constantly sent off into my own daydreams and memories, sometimes after reading only a line or two.

Q: What is the most sublime meal you’ve ever eaten?

A: Summer of 2006. Players on Madison in Lakewood, OH. My brother and his wife took me and my then-fiancé out for dinner to celebrate our engagement — I had sesame encrusted ahi tuna, a special that night. I don’t remember the appetizers we ordered or the sides, but I remember it all being delicious. I’m sure the meal was enhanced by the occasion, it being a beautiful summer’s night (we ate outside), and a couple bottles of red wine.

Jason Tandon is the author of Give Over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt, winner of the 2006 St. Lawrence Book Award and available for purchase at Black Lawrence Press. For more updates on Tandon’s writing, visit his website: http://jasontandon.wordpress.com/.

January 17: Stefi Weisburd & Amy Beeder in Albuquerque

Dear Friends,

You are invited to a poetry reading by Stefi Weisburd and Amy Beeder on Sunday, January 17th from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Acequia Booksellers in Albuquerque. Refreshments included. Hope you can come!

Stefi Weisburd is the author of The Wind-Up Gods, which won the Saint Lawrence Book Award (Black Lawrence Press, 2007) and the children’s book Barefoot: Poems for Naked Feet (Wordsong Press, 2008). She’s received a 2002 “Discovery”/The Nation Award, a Bread Loaf Scholarship and a Lannan Foundation Writing Residency. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, American Poetry Review and other journals. With degrees in physics, Weisburd has worked as a policy analyst for Congress, an editor at Science News magazine and as an outreach coordinator for a nanoscience program at UNM. Roger Weingarten writes that Weisburd is a “4-alarm wordsmith as innovative as Edison, and so graceful, funny and serious in the same sentence that her first collection reads like Beethoven’s Ninth. Reader, The Wind-Up Gods is poetry for those who want their language worked, like Rodin worked clay, and molded into something heartfelt, moving, and whip-smart.”

Amy Beeder is the author of Burn the Field (Carnegie Mellon, 2006). Her honors include a 2001 “Discovery”/The Nation Award, a Bread Loaf Scholarship, and a Witness Emerging Writers Award. Her poems have appeared in Agni, American Letters & Commentary, Black Warrior Review, The Nation, Poetry, and Puerto del Sol. A former human rights observer in Haiti and Suriname, and a high school teacher in West Africa, Amy Beeder balances an ear for meter with an often ominous tone, creating a musical, at times mythical, exploration of how we construct beauty and strangeness. Critic Sandra Gilbert declared that Burn the Field “constitutes an impressive debut for a writer who reveres the heft, texture, and taste of words.” Beeder teaches poetry at UNM.

For information about Acequia Booksellers, follow this link.

St. Lawrence Book Award Finalist Chosen for Publication

In addition to naming a winner for the 2009 St. Lawrence Book Award, Black Lawrence Press editors have chosen one of the finalists for publication. Finalist Eric Gamalinda’s short story collection People Are Strange will be available from Black Lawrence Press in late 2011.

Diane Goettel, BLP’s Executive Editor, caught up with Eric in Hong Kong last week when he was in town for the 2009 Man Asian Literary Prize award ceremony. Congratulations to Eric for being shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize for his novel The Descartes Highland and for having People Are Strange chosen for publication from the pool of St. Lawrence Book Award finalists.

The 2009 St. Lawrence Book Award Winner

We at Black Lawrence Press are very pleased to report that we have chosen a winner for the 2009 St. Lawrence Book Award. Congratulations to Brad Ricca for winning the prize with his poetry manuscript American Mastodon. As the winner of the prize, Brad will receive $1,000 and publication. American Mastodon will be available from Black Lawrence Press in late 2011. Congratulations again, Brad!

The 2009 St. Lawrence Book Award: UPDATE

LOGO_300_dpi_LARGEWe are pleased to announce the semi-finalists and finalists of the 2009 St. Lawrence Book Award. The winner, to be selected from the list of finalists, will be announced at the end of next week.

Drumroll, please…



Sean Bernard – Maintaining Good Posture Towards Bethlehem
Seth Borgen – Every Goddamn Time
Valerie Finn – Freak Show
Amy Havel – A Small Egg
Tyrone Jaeger – Our Love Stories Are Ghost Stories
Marylee MacDonald – What Am I Doing Here?
Marjorie Manwaring –  Search for a Velvet-Lined Cape
Andrew McIntyre – The Short, The Long, and The Tall Stories
Edward Mullany – Sundays in Ordinary Time
Mike Schiavone  – You’d Be Crazy Not to Love It Here
Ira Sukrungruang – The Man with the Buddha Heads
Steven Tarlow – Bitter Herbs


Joshua Butts – New to the Lost Coast
Carrie Conners – Bring Me Some Butter and a Knife
Tracy DeBrincat – Moon Is Cotton & She Laugh All Night
Christine DeSimone – How Long the Night Is
Sarah Wetzel Fishman – Bathsheba Transatlantic
Eric Gamalinda – People Are Strange
Jeremy Griffin – A Last Resort for Desperate People
Tina May Hall – This Is a Love Story, Too
Karen Holman – Incandescent House
Steve Kistulentz – The Luckless Age
Mary McCray – The Trees of Mars: An American Travelogue
Jennifer Moses – Hope House
Carrie Oeding – Our List of Solutions
Brad Ricca – American Mastodon

Congratulations to the finalists and semi-finalists! We look forward to announcing one of the finalists as the winner next week.

The 2009 St. Lawrence Book Award

Due to the recent relocation of our Executive Editor from New York to Hong Kong, we are a bit behind on our reading. Although we usually announce the results of the St. Lawrence Book Award on October 31st, we are going to need a bit more time this year. We plan to announce the finalists of the contest at the end of this week and the winner at the end of next week.

Thanks for your patience!

-The Black Lawrence Press Team