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Make some noise: here are the winners of CLMP’s Firecracker Awards!

Katie Yee

June 30, 2020, 8:00am

For over 50 years, the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses has been an amazing resource and megaphone for small presses and publications. CLMP has just announced the winners of their sixth annual Firecracker Awards, which celebrates the best independently published fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry of the past year.

They have also announced the fourth recipient of the Lord Nose Award, given in loving memory of Jonathan Williams (publisher of The Jargon Society) to honor a lifetime of outstanding small press publishing. This year’s winner is W. Paul Coates, founder of Black Classic Press, which specializes in the revival of obscure and significant works by and about people of African descent. Of his win, Paul Coates says, “I’ve never sought or did things for awards. I’ve been known to go the other way when folks start talking about awards. This is a bit different in the sense that it’s a peer-based award from people who know my work and that humbles and honors me.”

Read on to find your next indie favorite!

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FICTION

Johannes Anyuru, tr. Saskia Vogel, They Will Drown in Their Mothers' Tears

Johannes Anyuru, tr. by Saskia Vogel, They Will Drown In Their Mother’s Tears
(Two Lines Press)

“​This exceptional novel defies categorization and investigates the many facets of terror and xenophobia through the story of a radicalized young woman.”  –2020 Firecracker Award Fiction Judges

Judges: Bonnie Chau, author of ​All the Roads Lead to Blood​; Melanie Fleishman, book buyer at the Center for Fiction, and Alex Gilvarry, author of ​Eastman Was Here​.

 

CREATIVE NONFICTION

Jehanne Dubrow, throughsmoke
(New Rivers Press)

“With a particular focus on fragrances, Dubrow follows her nose into the terrain of memory, but also into the relationship of scent to grief and desire, and how these emotions might be felt, understood, and smelled.”  –2020 Firecracker Award Creative Nonfiction Judges

Judges: Lacy M. Johnson, author of ​The Reckonings: Essays​; Douglas A. Martin, author of ​Acker​; and Cristina Rodriguez, bookseller at Deep Vellum Books.

 

POETRY

Jena Osman, Motion Studies
(Ugly Duckling Presse)

“Jena Osman’s ​Motion Studies​ defies categorization, combining science writing, dystopian (science) fiction, popular journalism, critical theory, and lyricism.”  –2020 Firecracker Award Poetry Judges

Laura Moriarty, Personal Volcano
(Nightboat Books)

“​Personal Volcano​ is a tension between the ‘social’ and the ‘deep ecological’ — encompassing of something larger and more powerful than the anthropocentric could ever admit.”  –2020 Firecracker Award Poetry Judges

Judges: Thom Donovan, author of ​Withdrawn; Celina Su, author of Landia​; and Simone White, author of ​Dear Angel of Death​.

 

MAGAZINE / DEBUT

Porter House Review

“​Porter House Review​ publishes well-crafted prose and verse that is attentive to form and captivating. The journal demonstrates inclusivity, publishing works by writers from a wide range of backgrounds and exploring expansive themes.”  –2020 Firecracker Award Magazine Judges

 

MAGAZINE / GENERAL EXCELLENCE

Two Lines Journal

“With a mission to ‘celebrate the art of translation,’ ​Two Lines Journal​ highlights the exceptional work of both writers and translators, offering Anglophone readers a rare chance to connect with stories and ideas across cultures.”  –2020 Firecracker Award Magazine Judges

Judges: Laura Cogan, editor of​ Zyzzyva;​ Ruben Quesada, poetry editor of​ AGNI​; and Alexandra Watson, executive editor of ​Apogee Journal.​

 

LORD NOSE AWARD

W. Paul Coates and Black Classic Press

Since it was established in 1978 by W. Paul Coates, Black Classic Press has issued more than 135 titles and is still going strong, with four titles forthcoming in 2020 and 2021. Its best-selling titles include important classics, 100 Years of Lynching by Ralph Ginsburg, Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun by Reginald F. Lewis, Black Man of the Nile by Yosef Ben-Jochannon, When We Ruled by Robin Walker, and Seize the Time by Bobby Seale.

Hungry for more? Read the shortlist.

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