The VCU Department of English has recently announced the winners of both of its celebrated annual literary book awards: the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and the Levis Reading Prize, which is presented for the best first or second book of poems.
This year, the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award goes to Ramona Ausubel for "No One Is Here Except All of Us," published by Riverhead Books. The novel follows the residents of a remote Romanian village and the difficult choices that they must make about how best to go about their lives when faced with the horror of WWII. The novel was a New York Times "Editor's Choice" and was named a "Best Book" by both the San Francisco Chronicle and The Huffington Post, and it was a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. Christine Schutt, author of "Prosperous Friends" and "All Souls," describes the novel as "a wise, compassionate book that even in its darkest turns uplifts." Ramona Ausubel is also the author of a collection of short stories, titled "A Guide to Being Born." This fall, she will come to VCU to give a public reading, co-sponsored by VCU Libraries. Stay tuned for details. To learn more about the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, see the official website.
The 2013 Levis Reading Prize goes to Michael McGriff for his second collection of poems, "Home Burial," published by Copper Canyon Press. His first collection, "Dismantling the Hills," was released by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2008. He has also edited a volume of the selected writings of David Wevill, titled "To Build My Shadow a Fire" (Truman State University Press, 2010), and he co-translated Tomas Tranströmer's "The Sorrow Gondola" (Green Integer, 2010). He will read from "Home Burial" on September 25 at 8 p.m. at the VCU Grace Street Theater at 934 West Grace Street. A book sale and signing will follow the reading. To learn more about the Levis Reading Prize and Michael McGriff, see the VCU Department of English webpage. The Levis Reading Prize is named for poet Larry Levis, who taught at VCU and whose papers are now housed in Special Collections and Archives in James Branch Cabell Library.