by Katy TerBerg
The Society of Midland Authors recently announced the titles of its 2012 award recipients, and three of the titles were published by New Issues Poetry & Prose at WMU.
Kevin Fenton, a writer and creative director based in St. Paul, Minn., has been awarded the Friends of American Writers Literary Award for his novel, “Merit Badges.” “It is really my homage to my high school friends, who had the good grace to be tremendously interesting,” he said. He said the award was affirming “in a daunting kind of way,” noting that Carl Sanburg, Toni Morrison, and other literary greats have also been honored with the award. Fenton, whose fiction has appeared in the “Northwest Review,” the “Laurel Review,” and the “Emprise Review,” published several publications and has a detailed online portfolio showcasing his advertising skills. He is currently writing a memoir about his experiences growing up in Rollingston, Minn. Fenton spoke at WMU in fall 2011.
Khaled Mattawa, who relocated to the United States from Libya in 1979 to receive an MFA from Indiana University and a Ph.D. from York University, is the recipient of the Poetry Center Book award for “Tocqueville,” a collection of poems. Mattawa has published several collections of poetry, including “Amorisco,” “Zodiac of Echoes,” and “Ismailia Eclipse,” and co-edited “Dinarzad’s Children: An Anthology of Arab American Fiction and Post Gibran: Anthology of New Arab American Writing.” Mattawa has taught at Indiana University, California State University (Northridge), and the University of Michigan.
Susanna Childress, who was the runner up for New Issues’ 2010 Green Rose prize, has received the Society of Midland Authors Award for “Entering the House of Awe.” Childress also published two books including “Jagged Love,” which was awarded the Brittingham Prize in Poetry from the University of Wisconsin and the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award from the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She also wrote “Patience (God is the Dream)” as well as numerous literary journal publications. Her work is included in “And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana” published by the Indiana Historical Society Press in 2011. She currently lives in Holland, Mich. and holds a master’s degree from the University of Texas and a Ph.D. from Florida State University.