Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Congrats to Crab Creek Review Fiction Winner: Shann Ray

Gonzaga U. Professor Shann Ferch Wins Prestigious Nason Bakeless Literary Prize

Shann Ferch’s pen name — (Shann) Ray — is the name he and his mother share. “I write fiction and poetry under my middle name in honor of my Mom,” said Ferch, whose mother and father live in Bozeman, Mont. (Below) is the author with his mother.

SPOKANE, Wash. – Shann Ferch, professor of leadership in Gonzaga University’s Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies, has won the prestigious 2010 Katharine Nason Bakeless Literary Publication Prize, for his collection of short stories entitled: “American Masculine: Montana Stories.”

Read the entire article here.  Congrats Shann!

Guest Blogger: Shann Ray

We are thrilled to have one of favorite fiction writers guest blog for us this week-- Shann Ray, winner of 2009 Crab Creek Review Fiction Prize for this story, Rodin's The Hand of God.

Shann is also a recent winner of the prestigious 2010 Katharine Nason Bakeless Literary Publication Prize, for his collection of short stories entitled: American Masculine: Montana Stories.

Congratulations, Shann!


This Spring, after some long years, news came that brought one of those family moments that speak so clearly to the mystery of life: when it came, my wife and I cried with joy and our three daughters danced. I know many of you are familiar with the many rejections as well as the quiet beauty of the writing life. My first story was taken by South Dakota Review 10 years ago, after 8 years of rejections. Now 18 years later I received a call from Michael Collier, director of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and Poetry Editor at Harcourt to say my story collection American Masculine had won the Bakeless Prize and would be published by Graywolf Press. That's what all the tears and dancing were about!

Along the way, there have been some very joyful moments in among the over 400 rejection slips for poems and stories. Of course, writing, or trying to see people with new and compassionate eyes is not about stories being accepted for publication by the journals we love. But when those acceptance letters or emails or phone calls come in it always reminds me of the subtle presence of gratitude in the world. Last fall, when the lovely editors here at Crab Creek Review informed me "Rodin's The Hand of God" had won the CCR Fiction Prize it came when I was personally taking a hard close look at writing as vocation, and doubting if I had the necessary heart for the work. Happily, I'm still searching. Crab Creek Review is an important part of the nexus in the literary arts where poetry and prose intersect, and in this place I think there is strength and comfort for me and others who hope to find life's vitality even in the global uncertainty that often haunts people and nations.

The story taken by Crab Creek Review is one of the central stories in the collection that won the Bakeless Prize and that is a tribute to CCR, especially considering the history of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and the Bakeless Prize. Since 1926 the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference has convened every August. The conference, founded by Robert Frost and Willa Cather, brings together established poets and prose writers, editors, and literary agents to work with writers at various stages of their careers. While part of Bread Loaf's reputation was built on the writers associated with it-W. H. Auden, Wallace Stegner, Katherine Anne Porter, Toni Morrison, and Adrienne Rich, to name a few-it has an equally high reputation for finding and supporting writers of promise in the earliest stages of their careers. Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, Anne Sexton, May Swenson, Russell Banks, Joan Didion, Richard Ford, Julia Alvarez, Carolyn Forché, Linda Pastan, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Andrea Barrett, and Tim O'Brien are some of the poets, novelists, and short story writers who benefited from early associations with Bread Loaf.

Again, gratitude is something that I'm finding it hard to live without. I believe art can give us the opportunity to face despair with longing, forgiveness, responsibility, and the generosity that can be a profound undercurrent even in the complexity and chaos of contemporary life. Van Gogh said, 'The greatest work of art is to love someone.' I agree. An artistic sense of love brings about justice and engenders grace. I believe the artistry involved in truly loving and serving others is inherently imbued with authentic power. In the artists I look to for direction-from van Gogh to Bach, from Alice Walker to Marilynne Robinson-- I believe it is this power that helps heal the heart of the world.

I want to say thanks to the whole Crab Creek Review community for your care and the light you give to me and to many!

~Shann Ray

Shann Ray is the winner of the Subterrain Poetry Prize, the Crab Creek Review Fiction Prize, and the Ruminate Short Story Prize. His work has also appeared in Montana Quarterly, Poetry International, South Dakota Review, McSweeney's, Narrative, and StoryQuarterly among other venues. He holds a Ph.D. in systems psychology from the University of Alberta in Canada, an MA in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University, and an MFA in poetry and fiction from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University. He grew up in Montana and spent part of his childhood on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in southeast Montana. He lives with his wife and three daughters in Spokane, Washington, where he teaches leadership and forgiveness studies at Gonzaga University.

His collection of stories, American Masculine, won the Bakeless Fiction Prize and will appear in 2011 with Graywolf Press.

See Shann's website at www.shannray.com

Crab Creek Review 2010 Vol.I is Now Available

We are pleased to announce that Crab Creek Review 2010 Vol.I has just been released!
An excerpt from our Editors' Note: As we celebrate National Poetry Month and the creative writing process, we realize how privileged we are as editors to read the diversity of poems and stories received in the mail each week, as varied and intriguing as our April weather. Putting this issue together, we found that we had chosen works covering a wide scope of topics: contemplation of the past, former and present lovers, the surrealistic and fantastical, parenthood, the humorous, rural and urban living, the writing process, springtime and birds, to name a few. This “everything themed” issue is an apt way to begin a new decade as yet undefined, and therefore filled with every possibility. David Wagoner might express it best in his poem, How Birds Feel About Air, “and some carve it like constantly astonishing experts / into shapes ordinarily unimaginable.”
This issue features the work of: Dmitri Avaliani, P.K. Brask, Alex Cigale, Josh Cooper, Sharon Doyle, Rachel Contreni Flynn, Patrick Friesen, Terry Godbey, David Guterson, Jeremy Halinen, Michael Hanner, Jordan, Hartt, Sharon Hashimoto, Deborah Hauser, Niels Hav, Erin Coughlin Hollowell, Michael Johnsen, Robert Kostuck, Kate Lebo, Diane Lockward, George Looney, Brendan McBreen, Rachel Mehl, Natasha Kochicheril Moni, Peter Munro, Justin Petropoulos, Cati Porter, Connie Post, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, Victor David Sandiego, Emily Scudder, Andrei Sen-Senkov, Tim Sherry, Laura Stott, George Such, Molly Tenenbaum, Natalie Haney Tilghman, David Wagoner, Wendy Wisner, Mark Wisniewski, and Rachel Zitomer.
Cover Art: Memphis Girl, by Rowland Salley.
Order Crab Creek Review 2010 Vol.I here and please consider subscribing to our journal.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Winners!! - From the Great Poetry Book Giveaway!

Here's the list of winners from our drawing for our poetry prizes -

If you see your name below, please send us an email with your mailing address to crabcreekeditors (a) gmail.com and we'll get your prizes shipped out to you!

Congrats to all and thank you to all who entered!


Winner of the Crab Creek Review Anniversary Anthology: Sam Boyd

Winner of the current issue: Je' Maverick

Winner of Madeline DeFrees collection: Barry Napier

Winner of the one-year subscription: Ron Lewis

Congratulations to all the winners!