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DU Represented Well at Colorado Book Awards

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Greg Glasgow


With two students and two alumni nominated in a total of three different categories, the University of Denver is a major player in the 2017 Colorado Book Awards. When prizes are announced on May 21, chances are good that at least one DU-affiliated author will be among the recipients of the state’s highest literary honor.

Carolina Ebeid

“We have an incredible community of students and faculty here,” says creative writing professor Eleni Sikelianos. “We’ve been ranked No. 1 in creative writing PhD programs nationally, and these nominations underscore the talent and dedication we have been able to attract and nurture.”

Nominated in the poetry category is “You Ask Me To Talk About the Interior” (Noemi Press), the debut collection from current creative writing PhD student Carolina Ebeid. In Cleaver Magazine, reviewer Claire Oleson praised the collection as “a work which is at once aware of its existence as a book of poems that contain associative and surreal moments while also being eager to show where language gives way to something close, personal, and undeniably part of reality.”

Steven Dunn

In the literary fiction category, nominees include Steven Dunn (BA ’14), an alumnus of the undergraduate creative writing program, and Mona Awad, a current creative writing PhD student.

Dunn got the nod for his debut novel, “Potted Meat” (Tarpaulin Sky Press), which uses short, fragmented chapters to tell the story of a young boy in a decaying West Virginia town as he struggles with abusive parents, poverty, alcohol addiction and racial tensions. Awad, meanwhile, was recognized for “13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl” (Penguin), a “novel in stories” that explores issues of body image and self-awareness.

Mona Awad
Mona Awad

Finally, alumnus Mario Acevedo (MCIS ’98), a well-regarded novelist in his own right, is nominated as editor of “Found: Short Stories by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers,” an anthology of 15 tales that, according to the book’s web page, “reveal the consequences of finding something once lost or better off forgotten.”