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Levis Reading Prize
VCU Department of English

Home Burial
   Home Burial
 Michael McGriff
Michael McGriff’s collection, Home Burial, has won the 16th annual Levis Reading Prize from Virginia Commonwealth University for the best first or second book of poetry published in 2012.

Mr. McGriff will receive an honorarium of $2000 and will be brought to Richmond all expenses paid for a reception and public reading at 8PM on Sept. 25th at the Grace Street Theater. The Levis Reading Prize is awarded in the name of the late Larry Levis, the distinguished poet and teacher who was a VCU professor until his death in 1996. The award was created to encourage poets early in their careers by recognizing the best first or second book of poetry published each year.

McGriff is the author of two books of poetry, Home Burial (Copper Canyon Press, 2012) and Dismantling the Hills (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008). His other books include an edition of David Wevill’s essential writings, To Build My Shadow a Fire (Truman State University Press, 2010), and a co-translation of Tomas Tranströmer’s The Sorrow Gondola (Green Integer Books, 2010). His poetry, translations, and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including American Poetry Review, Bookforum, Slate, Narrative, and The Believer. He has received a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Stegner Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Literary Fellowship. He lives in Portland, Oregon, where he edits Tavern Books, a publishing house devoted to poetry in translation and the revival of out-of-print books.

This year the Prize Committee would also like to recognize the outstanding books of three additional finalists, Catherine Barnett for her collection The Game of Boxes (Graywolf Press, 2012), Traci Brimhall for Our Lady of the Ruins (W.W. Norton & Company, 2012), Eduardo C. Corral for Slow Lightning (Yale University Press, 2012), and Matthew Dickman for Mayakovsky's Revolver (W.W. Norton & Company, 2012). 

The Levis Reading Prize is presented on behalf of VCU's M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program. Sponsors include the VCU Department of English, the VCU Libraries, the VCU Honors College, Barnes & Noble @ VCU and the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences, with additional funding provided by the family of Larry Levis. 

Entries may be submitted by either author or publisher, and must include three copies of the book (48 pages or more), a cover letter, and a brief biography of the author including previous publications. (Entries from vanity presses or self-publishing entities are not eligible.) The book must have been published in North America in the previous calendar year. Entrants wishing acknowledgment of receipt must include a self-addressed stamped postcard.

The annual entry deadline is now Febuary 1st. Materials received after that date will be returned unopened. Because we cannot guarantee their return, all entries will become the property of the VCU Department of English.

Judges come from faculty of the VCU Department of English and MFA Program in Creative Writing.

The winner receives an honorarium of $2000 and are invited, expenses paid, to Richmond to present a public reading in the following fall.

To enter, please send materials to:

Levis Reading Prize
VCU Department of English
900 Park Avenue, Hibbs Hall, Room 306
P.O. Box 842005
Richmond, VA 23284-2005

For further information, contact Lena Moses-Schmitt, Levis Fellow:

   Cabell First Novelist Award
      About the Award

   Levis Reading Prize
      Information and Guidelines
      Larry Levis: A Celebration
      Levis Documentary Trailer
      Levis in Blackbird
      Current Winner
      Past Winners

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last updated January 13, 2014
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