CONTACT: LINZEE MCCRAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-2008; fax (319) 335-2055
Short fiction collections win 1997 awards from UI
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The winners of two prestigious awards for debut collections
of short stories, sponsored by the University of Iowa Press and the UI
Writers' Workshop, have been announced.
The winner of the 1997 Short Fiction Award is "Thank You for Being
Concerned and Sensitive," by Jim Henry. Currently a graduate student
at Cleveland State University, Henry has published stories in Studies in
Contemporary Satire and in Whiskey Island.
The winner of the 1997 John Simmons Short Fiction Award is "Within
the Lighted City," by Lisa Lenzo. Lenzo, who works as a driver and
dispatcher for a public transportation system in southwestern Michigan,
is a 1992 winner of a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award. Her stories have appeared
in the Alaska Quarterly Review, New England Review, Michigan Quarterly
Review and other journals.
Ann Beattie, the author of "Chilly Scenes of Winter," "Picturing
Will," and "Where You'll Find Me," judged the 1997 competition.
Beattie praised Henry's work, saying, "[His] characters struggle
with private dreams and demons and with public versus private realities.
... [I]t's difficult not to feel uneasily, and perhaps a bit exhilaratingly,
She continued: "In [Lenzo's] collection we are offered more of
a landscape than a map, yet its interlocking pieces gradually form a whole
that seems greater that the sum of is parts. In some way, it would seem
we've all walked there."
Both awards are given to a first collection of fiction and are administered
through the UI Writers' Workshop. Manuscripts of the winning selections
are published by the UI Press.
The Iowa Short Fiction Award has been conducted annually by the Workshop
since 1969. In 1988, the UI Press created the John Simmons Short Fiction
Award, named after the first director of the Press.
"Thank You for Being Concerned and Sensitive" and " Within
the Lighted City" will be published by the UI Press in the fall of