VOL. 33 Launch & Awards Celebration!
The Northern Virginia Review’s spring reception on March 21 drew a large audience for the inaugural Robert Bausch Fiction Prize and readings by keynote speaker Eric Pankey, celebrated poet and George Mason University’s Heritage Chair in Creative Writing.
The theme of this year’s event was the close ties between The Northern Virginia Review and George Mason University’s writing and arts programs. The Robert Bausch Fiction Prize, honoring the late Northern Virginia Community College English professor and prolific author who passed away last fall, epitomizes this relationship. Bausch started as an undergraduate at NOVA and went on to earn his BA, MA, and MFA at GMU. With his brother Richard, Bausch helped found GMU’s literary journal Phoebe. As a teacher, Bausch mentored countless writing students both at NOVA, GMU, and across the Washington DC metropolitan area.
The program opened with a moving tribute to Alexandra (Zan) Hailey, former Prince William County Poet Laureate, who died tragically last fall in an automobile accident. Hailey was selected for Poet Laureate by Eric Pankey.
Next, prizes were awarded beginning with The Robert Bausch Fiction Prize presented by Robert’s brother Richard Bausch, award-winning novelist and short story writer, who judged the finalists. Top honors went to Bill Glose for “Her Brother’s Apartment.” Bausch praised the story, about the protagonist’s brother’s suicide and its aftermath, for its architecture and “the precision of its emotions without the slightest touch of sentimentality .” Finalists included “NaCL” by Bonnie Roop Bowles and “The Harlot of Bodega Bay” by Beth Goldner.
The poetry prize went to Jon Obermeyer for his austerely reflective poem “The Wasp Nest.” The prize for best artwork was awarded to Lara Ajami for her striking black-and-white study, “Self-Portrait.”
Highlighting the event was keynote speaker Eric Pankey’s reading from his latest collection, Augury, described as “a darkly luminous book by a poet at the height of his considerable poetic power.” The poems meander from casual everyday scenes, to unexpected dark alleys with no exit, to surprising and welcome flashes of humor.
Pankey also commented on the close ties between George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College. “Almost everyday, I teach somebody in one of my classes who is a transfer student from NOVA, so it’s been really remarkable and continues to be remarkable . . . something really good is going on here when it comes to writing.”
TNVR Vol. 33 Celebration Highlights
Robert Bausch Featured at TNVR’s Vol. 32 Celebration
(For full report, see The Northern Virginia Celebrates Volume 32, a feature story in NOVAinsider).
This year’s celebration honored the contributors to Vol. 32 and included a tribute to the late Steven Drasner, Annandale Associate Professor of Information Systems Technology and longtime managing editor of TNVR, who died last year.
Prizes were awarded for best work of fiction (Jacob Appel), best poem (Jessica Rapisarda), and best artwork (Wayne Guenther).
Our keynote speaker was NOVA’s own Robert Bausch, Woodbridge professor of English and critically acclaimed author of ten books. He was a 2013 recipient of the prestigious SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award and the 2009 John Dos Passos Prize in Literature. He read from his latest novel, In the Fall They Come Back. An invigorating question-and-answer session followed.
Video of the Event: TNVR Vol. 32 Launch & Awards
Kim Roberts Headlines TNVR’s Vol. 31 Launch!
TNVR and the Lyceum Committee welcomed poet, editor, and Washington D. C.’s pre-eminent literary historian Kim Roberts as keynote speaker at the launch of Vol. 31.
Roberts is editor of the anthology Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington, DC (Plan B Press, 2010). She coedits two literary journals, Beltway Poetry Quarterly and the Delaware Poetry Review, and is the web exhibit DC Writers’ Homes. Her work has appeared in over 40 anthologies.
Roberts read from her recently published fifth book of poetry, The Scientific Method (WordTech Editions, 2017), praised as “a master work by a master poet.” Her poems are sometimes playful, other times pensive, but always intimate and unafraid—and an antidote to routine-induced blindness to our surroundings.
Roberts’s book A Literary Guide to Washington, DC from Frances Scott Key to Zora Neale Hurston is forthcoming from the University of Virginia Press in 2018.
Video of the event: TNVR Vol. 31 Launch & Annual Awards
Richard Bausch speaks at the The Northern Virginia Review’s 30th Anniversary Launch Celebration
Attendees of The Northern Virginia Review’s 30th Anniversary celebration on March 24 had a treat they won’t soon forget. His gifts as a master storyteller on full display, Richard Bausch recounted from memory James Dickey’s “The Mill Wheel,” a dark ghost tale set in the rural South that, Bausch said, “has everything.” He went on to read from Living in the Weather of the World, his latest collection of stories to be released in 2017. In “The Unknown,” Bausch’s eye for the common humanity within flawed characters is unerring and spellbinding. The winner of many literary awards, including the $30,000 Rea Award for the Short Story in 2012, Bausch has written 12 novels, eight collections of short stories, and is editor of The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. He is currently a professor of creative writing at Chapman University in Orange, California.
Click below to watch a video of the complete event: