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2008 News Releases

Longwood-affiliated Briery Creek Press awards Liam Rector poetry prize to Amy Tudor

April 14, 2008

Amy Tudor Amy Tudor

Briery Creek Press, which is affiliated with Longwood University, and Creative Writing in Longwood’s Department of English and Modern Languages recently awarded the 2008 Liam Rector First Book Prize for Poetry to Amy Tudor, for A Book of Birds.

The Prize, awarded April 10, includes publication by Briery Creek Press, a $1,000 honorarium, a letter-pressed broadside of the title poem, 50 copies of the winning book and a reading at Longwood. This year’s judge, David Wojahn, a poet who directs Virginia Commonwealth University’s creative writing program, called Tudor’s book an “impressive debut” whose poems are “willing to ask the hard and essential questions about self, family history, and the role of our art and sullen craft in a complex and often unjust world…(She) possesses a lyric dexterity which matches her poems’ thematic ambition.”

Tudor, who lives in Louisville, Ky., is editor of a medical web site and a Ph.D. student at the University of Louisville. A Richmond and Norfolk resident from 1997 to 2004, she also is the author of the chapbook The Land of Intention, which won the Devil’s Millhopper Press Chapbook Contest. She taught at the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School in Petersburg for two years and has been an adjunct instructor at VCU (from which she received an M.F.A.), William & Mary, Old Dominion University and the University of Kentucky.

Briery Creek Press, founded and operated by Creative Writing faculty and students at Longwood, also publishes the Dos Passos Review, Longwood’s twice-yearly journal. The Liam Rector Prize was awarded for the first time last year to Michael Meyerhofer for Leaving Iowa.

The award is named for native Virginian Liam Rector, a prominent poet and educator who at the time of his death, in August 2007, directed the graduate Writing Seminars at Bennington College, which he founded. He had been executive director of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and had administered arts programs with the Guggenheim Foundation, the Folger Shakespeare Library and the National Endowment for the Arts. Rector was a founding member of the advisory board for both the Dos Passos Review and Briery Creek Press. His last reading performance was at Longwood, in April 2007.

“We established the Prize to provide a much-needed venue for poetry publication in an often difficult market,” said Mary Carroll-Hackett, director of the Creative Writing program and editor-at-large of Briery Creek Press and the Dos Passos Review. “We also wanted to honor Liam Rector, who dedicated his professional life to the success of American letters.”