Literary Matters Pushcart Prize Nominations

Literary Matters is proud to announce its nominees for The Pushcart Prize 2017. From issue 9:2, we’ve nominated Judith Ortiz Cofer’s “Las Muchachas” and Richie Hofmann’s “Shades.” From issue 9:3, we’ve nominated A.E. Stallings’ “Dyeing the Easter Eggs,” Catherine Tufariello’s “Clear Water,” and Jean Valentine’s “For a Friend Who Died Young.” And from issue 10.1, we’ve nominated Gregory Fraser’s “Nothing But a Few Bare Trees.”

Congratulations to all of the nominees!

ALSCW Washington, DC Event featuring Deborah Nord and Maria Dibattista

At Home In the World: Women Writers and Public Life
Maria DiBattista and Deborah Nord
5 pm, December 6th, 2017
McGiveny Hall
(co-sponsored by Politics and Prose bookstore) 


Deborah Nord, Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature

Invitation to event featuring J. Chester Johnson

The Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers
invites you to a reading and conversation with

J. Chester Johnson
Poet, Essayist, Translator

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
7:00 pm

The Culture Center

410 Columbus Avenue
(Between West 79th & West 80th Streets)
New York, NY 10024

Doors open at 6:30 pm | Talk begins at 7:00 pm

~ Refreshments before the reading & after ~


Focusing on his two books published in 2017, Chester Johnson will read selections from Now and Then, his new poetry collection, and discuss Auden, the Psalms, and Me, the story of his experience working with W. H. Auden on a retranslation of the Psalms.

Congratulations to ALSCW member Terry R. Hummer!

Congratulations to ALSCW member Terry R. Hummer, 2017 Recipient of Donald Justice Award for Poetry!

T.R. Hummer’s most recent books of poetry are After the Afterlife (Acre Books) and the three linked volumes Ephemeron, Skandalon, and Eon (LSU Press). Former editor in chief of The Kenyon Review, of The New England Review, and of The Georgia Review, he has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship in poetry, a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Grant in Poetry, the Richard Wright Award for Artistic Excellence, and the Hanes Poetry Prize. He lives in Cold Spring, NY.

Polina Whitehouse: 2017 Meringoff Secondary School Essay Contest Winner

Polina Whitehouse

We are pleased to announce that Polina Whitehouse of the Brearley School has won The Meringoff Secondary School Essay Contest. The Meringoff Secondary School Essay Contest offers annual awards to students in grades 9 through 12 who have written superior analytical essays that deal with works of recognized literary merit. Papers may examine style, characterization, rhetorical technique, or structure, and may be about individual poems, short stories, novels, plays, or essays. Papers may also compare two carefully selected works. This year’s awards include a prize of $2000 and publication in the Winter issue of Literary Matters, the online literary journal of The Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers.

Helen Pinkerton & Herman Melville: Civil War Poems

Helen Pinkerton & Herman Melville: Civil War Poems
Dr John Baxter
Professor Emeritus of English, Dalhousie University

Helen Pinkerton, known for her devotional poems and poems on works of art, is also an astute commentator on crucial aspects of the American Civil War and especially on maintaining perspective in the heat of intense political debate. In her recently published collected poems, A Journey of the Mind, she examines some of these topics through the eyes of Herman Melville, one of America’s greatest writers and himself a major Civil War poet, testifying first-hand to the causes and consequences of the conflict.

Congratulations to Sonya Larson, Winner of the 2017 VSC ALSCW Fellowship!

Sonya Larson’s short fiction and nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Best American Short Stories 2017American Short FictionThe American Literary ReviewPoets & Writers MagazineThe Writer’s ChronicleAudible.comWest BranchSalamanderMemorious, Del Sol ReviewThe Red Mountain Review, and The Hub. She has received awards and honors from Best American Short Stories 2017 and 2015Glimmer TrainMeridianSalamander, the American Literary Review, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

She is at work on a novel about a Chinese community living in rural Mississippi in the 1930s, which earned her an Emerging Artist Award from the St. Botolph Club Foundation. This is Sonya’s second fellowship to attend VSC; in 2016, she was awarded the Grace Paley Fiction Fellowship.

Carolyn Jack: 2016 Meringoff Prize in Fiction Winner

Carolyn Jack

The ALSCW is pleased to announce that Carolyn Jack is the winner of the 2016 Meringoff Prize in fiction. Ms. Jack’s “Success” is part of a novel in progress. The judges (John Burt and Lee Oser) call it “a brilliant portrait of a talented, observant, tart-tongued, young pianist from a Caribbean island whose cultivated, nearly deaf mother has determined that he will be a prodigy, and who is just at the point of leaving home to pursue study in the United States.” The award includes a cash prize of $2,000 and publication in an upcoming issue of Literary Matters. Ms. Jack and the other Meringoff Prize winners have been invited to read at the 2017 annual conference of the ALSCW at the University of Dallas from October 26-29. For more information go to our website (

Chad Davidson: Meringoff Prize for the Essay Winner

Chad Davidson

The ALSCW is pleased to announce that Chad Davidson is the winner of the 2016 Meringoff Prize for the essay. Professor Davidson’s “Not Being Original” is an exciting and penetrating exploration of contemporary American self-hood and its relationship to scenic (and tourist oriented) modern Italy. The award includes a cash prize of $2,000 and publication in Literary Matters or Literary Imagination.

Chad Davidson is the author of From the Fire Hills (2014), The Last Predicta (2008), and Consolation Miracle (2003), all from Southern Illinois UP, as well as co-author with Gregory Fraser of the textbook Writing Poetry: Creative and Critical Approaches (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). He is a professor of literature and creative writing at the University of West Georgia near Atlanta and co-directs Convivio, a summer writing conference in Umbria, Italy.

Two Winners of 2016 Meringoff Prize for Poetry

The ALSCW is pleased to announce the co-winners of the 2016 Meringoff Prize for Poetry: Gregory Fraser for “Nothing But a Few Bare Trees” and Matthew Buckley Smith for “Object Permanence.” The winning poems will be published in an upcoming issue of either Literary Matters or Literary Imagination, and the winners will each receive $1,000 and a commemorative plaque.

The ALSCW would also like to thank all the fine writers who participated and especially the judges, Jee Leong Koh and Robert B. Shaw. The winners of the other Meringoff Prizes will be announced in the coming weeks.