Winners of the Meringoff Writing Awards

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The ALSCW is pleased to announce the winners of the Meringoff Writing Awards.

Meringoff Award for Fiction: Winner, Becky Hagenston

(photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University)

Becky Hagenston is the author of four story collections, most recently The Age of Discovery and Other Stories, winner of The Journal’s Non/Fiction Prize and the 2022 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award in fiction. Her stories have appeared in Ploughshares, The Southern Review, The Oxford American, and many other journals, and have been chosen for a Pushcart Prize and twice for an O. Henry Award. She’s a professor of English at Mississippi State University. 

Meringoff Award for Poetry: Co-Winners, Ernest Hilbert & Garrett Hongo

Ernest Hilbert is the author of Sixty SonnetsAll of You on the Good EarthCaligulan—selected as winner of the 2017 Poets’ Prize—and Last One Out. His fifth book, Storm Swimmer, was selected by Rowan Ricardo Phillips as the winner of the 2022 Vassar Miller Prize and will appear in 2023. He lives in Philadelphia where he works as a rare book dealer and book critic for The Washington PostThe Wall Street Journal, and Fine Books and Collections. His poem “Mars Ultor” was included in Best American Poetry 2018, and his poems appear in Yale ReviewAmerican Poetry ReviewBOMBHarvard ReviewParnassusSewanee ReviewHudson ReviewBoston ReviewThe New RepublicAmerican Scholar, and the London Review. Visit him at

Photo credit: Steven Varni

Garrett Hongo: Poet, memoirist, and audio writer Garrett Hongo was born in Volcano, Hawaiʻi and grew up on the North Shore of Oʻahu and in Los Angeles. He earned his BA from Pomona College and his MFA from the University of California-Irvine, where he studied with the poets C.K. WilliamsHoward Moss, and Charles Wright. His poetry collections are Yellow Light (1982), The River of Heaven (1988), which received the Lamont Poetry Prize and was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Coral Road (2011). His most recent publication is The Perfect Sound: A Memoir in Stereo (2022). In other non-fiction, he has published The Mirror Diary (2017) and Volcano: A Memoir of Hawaiʻi (1995), perhaps his best known work. His work has been recognized with fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Current poems and essays appear in Harvard Review, Epiphany, SoundStage! Global!, Georgia Review,, and Sewanee Review. He lives in Eugene where he is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Oregon.

Meringoff Award for Non-Fiction: Winner, Hope Coulter

Hope Coulter directs the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language at Hendrix College. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including The Yale Review, Southwest Review, and Terrain, and her collection The Wheel of Light was published in 2015 as part of the New Poets Series of BrickHouse Books. Awards for her writing include the Laman Library Writers Fellowship, the Porter Prize for Literary Excellence, and four Pushcart nominations, as well as the Meringoff Prize for Poetry. She lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.