The Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry and the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction are held annually with guest judges. This year Dean Young and Stacey D'Erasmo were guest judges. The prizes include a $2,000 cash award each and publication of the manuscripts, and standard royalty contracts.
Dean Young chose Peter Mishler's Fludde for the 2016 Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry:
"Occasionally, poetry provides us with raw proof of what it is to be alive, perceptions that never stray far from sensations, an illumination of sparks as opposed to, or at least in addition to, the steady artificial light of reason. The poems in Fludde are tributes to the imagination’s ability to see through the tissues of the ordinary to something far more disruptive and timeless."
Peter Mishler was born in New Jersey, and lives in Kansas City where he teaches and serves as an editor for Drunken Boat. His work has been featured at Conjunctions, The Literary Review, Public Pool, and Poetry Daily, and was selected for the Best New Poets series. This is his first book.
Stacey D'Erasmo chose Nona Caspers's Alley Stories for the 2016 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction:
"As I read and re-read these stories, I tried to figure out how the writer cut to the bone with sentences like clear water. And how, I marveled, did this writer then build these sentences into stories of such power that, taken together, form a unified whole of such emotional depth?"
Nona Caspers's Heavier Than Air received the Grace Paley Short Fiction award and was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her fiction also has been honored with a NEA fellowship, Joseph Henry Jackson Literary Award, and an Iowa Review Fiction Award among others. Stories from the winning manuscript have appeared in Kenyon Review, Glimmer Train, Cimarron Review, Black Warrior Review, and The Sun. She’s the author of Little Book of Days and in 2014 she co-edited with Joell Hallowell Lawfully Wedded Wives: Rethinking Marriage in the 21st Century. She teaches creative writing at San Francisco State University.
For runner ups, finalists, and semi-finalists in each prize, see each prize page.