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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 30, 2006

Recent UI Nonfiction Writing Program Graduate Wins 2006 Tamarack Prize

John Bresland, who received a master of fine arts degree last spring from the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program, is the winner of the 2006 Tamarack Prize from Minnesota Monthly. The $10,000 prize honored his story "The Cooler," which is published in the magazine's November issue.

The story is accessible online at

Several of Bresland's radio essays have aired on public radio, and his video essay "Les Cruel Shoes" is a current feature on Blackbird, an online journal of literature and the arts. His story "The Horns You Get" appeared recently in North American Review and his commentaries appear regularly on editorial pages throughout the Midwest.

Of "The Cooler," Bresland says, "This story came from my memories of growing up on Chicago's south side at a time when U.S. industry was being dismantled and shipped abroad. The kids I ran with in those days were wild, resourceful, unmedicated, and so were most of the adults. I often wondered while writing 'The Cooler' how we salvage good lessons from bad teachers."

The Tamarack Prize, which honors an original work of short fiction, is supported by Tamarack Funds, a family of mutual funds. It is one of the nation's largest awards presented for a single work of short fiction.

The Nonfiction Writing Program is part of the English department in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073; cell: 310-430-1013;