Friday, February 6, 2015

Southside Buddhist Wins Florida Book Award Honor

Southside Buddhist by Ira Sukrungruang, published in 2014 by the University of Tampa Press, has just been named winner of the Bronze Medal for General Nonfiction in the Ninth Annual Florida Book Awards recognitions.

        The Florida Book Awards were established in 2006 to recognize the best contemporary Florida literature. The annual selection is coordinated by Florida State University Libraries and has become the nation’s most comprehensive state book awards program. Eligible authors must be full-time Florida residents.
        This year more than 200 submissions were read and evaluated by juries of three members, each nominated from across the state by co-sponsoring organizations. Details about all of this year’s winners are available on the 2014 awards page of the Florida Book Awards website.
        Sukrungruang, who teaches writing at the University of South Florida in Tampa, is a Thai American writer. The autobiographical essays in Southside Buddhist include reflections on life, art, and writing. His previous books include his memoir Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy and a collection of poetry, In Thailand It Is Night, which won the Anita Claire Scharf Prize and was also published by the University of Tampa Press.

Both books are available on our website, or you can click directly to their catalog listings:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Celebrating Sixty Years of Craftsmanship

Sixty Years of Prints & Wood
 (paperback edition)

Spokane artist and craftsman Gale Mueller began making relief prints as greeting cards on a nipping press for Christmas 1953. In the sixty years and many prints that have followed he has excelled in his own flavor of skillful printmaking—and in the process become a much-loved and admired printer and wood engraver. Sixty Years of Prints & Wood Engravings, a new publication from University of Tampa Press, collects the evidence of this lifetime of printing to show what a substantial body of work can result from an activity one does out of love.

To heighten your anticipation of our upcoming December 1 publication of Sixty Years of Prints & Wood Engravings we’re glad to share a few spreads from the book and to present a special pre-publication purchase offer.

These few prints are only a small sampling of all that the book offers—Sixty Years of Prints & Wood Engravings reproduces over 125 prints, including 24 color reproductions of multicolor relief prints.

Click on each image for a closer view

From the “Barns & Doors” section

From the “Fauna” section

From the “Miscellaneous” section

From the “Portraits” section
Frederic Goudy, left, and Johann Gutenberg

“There is a distinctly personal dimension . . . at times humorous, occasionally whimsical but never inappropriate or gratuitous. It is his manner to observe the telling qualities of a subject, respect its uniqueness as he expresses it and then, often but not always, embellish it with a touch of his own unique essence . . . His work indicates that a human hand, guided by a human heart, has carved the design.”
– From the Foreword to the book by Welford D. Taylor –

– Special Prepublication Offer –
Sixty Years of Prints & Wood Engravings is available as a limited edition hand-bound hardback that includes a signed frontispiece wood engraving printed by the artist from the original block. This edition—limited to only 60 copies, only 50 of which are for sale—is available at a special prepublication price of $50—only through November 30, 2014. Price upon publication December 1, 2015, will be $60.

Sixty Years of Prints & Wood Engravings
is also available in a Paperback Edition.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Celebrating 50 years of Tampa Review: Tampa Review 49

Announcing the release of Tampa Review 49

TR49 is the first of two issues this year that will
celebrate a milestone—50 years of literary publishing.

         We are pleased to begin our fiftieth year by featuring selections from a unique and wholly new exhibition entitled, My Generation: Young Chinese Artists. The exhibition showcases a new generation of world-class Chinese artists who have emerged in China since 2000—all born after Mao’s death in 1976, marking the end of China’s Cultural Revolution. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, and the Tampa Museum of Art, and offers stunning visual evidence that Florida is fully engaged in global cultural dialog. The show runs here June 7-September 28, 2014, before traveling to Oklahoma City Museum of Art, where it will be on view October 25, 2014-January 18, 2015. The works speak for themselves while bridging the country and spanning the globe.
         The literary contents of TR49 reflect a new generation’s struggle with “Utopia”—as Qui Xiaofei visually depicts on the cover. Poet Zeina Hashem Beck also expresses it in her opening poem as she personifies a world “trying to tip over its pain.” Daniel Gabriel describes a utopian interlude in his 2009 visit to “Syria Before It All Went South.” By contrast, Malcolm Garcia struggles to find grounds for faith amidst horror and ruin in “Praying in Reyhanli.”

         Less destructive but deeply troubling is the singing war started by Mrs. Mudd in Jill Birdsall’s “The Beer Garden,” where experiences that promise harmony become discordant when inflected by greed, ego, and nationalism. Poet Michael Hettich takes a higher view in “Certain Constellations,” in which attentiveness to the natural world affirms the possibility of harmony if “we might move into/the circle of its song.”

         The issue concludes with struggles from our more recent past portrayed in Vincent Czyz’s “Straightsville,” set in the 1980s, mostly at a gay rally in Manhattan. The story’s narrator experiences a series of mutual misreadings that blur the cultural divide between New York and New Jersey, gay and straight, work week and weekend. Czyz’s story suggests, as does the speaker of Knute Skinner ’s poem “What I Have Assembled,” that selves are multiple, that they can be torn apart and reassembled in diverse ways, and that people and generations may be more alike than different.

         Finally, this first issue of our 50th anniversary year includes a few pages reproduced from the very first issue of Tampa Poetry Review in 1964.  They remind us how both our distant and recent pasts contain the cultural heritage and visionary struggles that create each new version of “my generation.” 

We have come a long way from our earliest mimeograph edition to our present hardcover format, and both of our issues this academic year will include a little taste of the journey through the past, while continuing to showcase some of the best contemporary writing and visual art from Florida and the world.

Tampa Review 49 includes:

Fiction: Jill Birdsall, Michael Cuglietta, Vincent Czyz, Dana Fitz Gale

Poetry: Zeina Hashem Beck, Robert Bense, Joshua Butts, Bill Christophersen, Mary Gilliland, Michael Hettich, Teresa Leo, Carol Levin, Lisa Lewis, Austin MacRae, Jenna Rindo, Roger Sauls, Knute Skinner, Kelly Talbot, Ralph Tejeda Wilson

Nonfiction: Daniel Gabriel, J. Malcolm Garcia, Aileen Kilgore Henderson, Laura L. Runge

Art: Birdhead, Cui Jie, Sima Diab, Liu Di, Qiu Xiaofei, Shi Zhiying, Song Kun

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Poet Bruce Bond Wins 2014 Tampa Review Prize

Bruce Bond, of Denton, Texas, has been named winner of the 2014 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry. Bond receives the thirteenth annual prize for his new manuscript, Black Anthem. In addition to a $2,000 check, the award includes hardback and paperback book publication in 2015 by the University of Tampa Press. 
Bond is the author of nine published books of poetry, most recently Choir of the Wells: A Tetralogy (Etruscan, 2013), The Visible (LSU, 2012), Peal (Etruscan, 2009), and Blind Rain (LSU, 2008).  In addition he has four books forthcoming: The Other Sky (poems in collaboration with the painter Aron Wiesenfeld, intro by Stephen Dunn; Etruscan Press), For the Lost Cathedral (LSU Press), Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand (University of Michigan), and Metaphysics of the Literal Heart (Four Way Books). 
Tampa Review judges commented that the poems in Black Anthem  left them “amazed and in awe of his poetic range and dexterity that revitalizes the sonnet form.”
“This is a manuscript that surprised us at every turn,” the judges said. “Bond plays the sonnet form like a master musician, making an old form continously new and fresh on page after page.”
“His eye and ear for language are remarkable‚” the judges added. ”Just as you think you've understood how rhymes, rhythms, themes, and sequences are working, Bond throws in another improvisation or flourish that deepens the poetic experience. You know to expect the volta, but have no idea where the turn will take you. His lyricism makes you want to go along for the ride.”
Bond’s background includes significant accomplishments as a classical and jazz guitarist, which may in part account for the musicality of language in this collection. In addition to his Ph.D. in English from the University of Denver, he also holds a Masters in Musical Performance from the Lamont School of Music and has worked as a professional guitarist.
Bond has previously received numerous recognitions for his poems, including the Allen Tate Award, the TIL Best Book of Poetry Prize, the Colladay Award, the Richard Peterson Prize, the Knightsville Poetry Award, and fellowships from the NEA and the Texas Institute for the Arts.  Presently he is a Regents Professor of English at the University of North Texas and Poetry Editor for American Literary Review.
 A sampling of poems from Black Anthem will appear as a “sneak preview” in a forthcoming issue of Tampa Review, the award-winning hardback literary journal published by the University of Tampa Press. Bond’s book will be released in the fall of 2015.
The judges also announced ten finalists this year: 
Brian Brodeur of Cincinnati, Ohio,  for “Persons of Interest”;
Polly Buckingham of Medical Lake, Washington, for “A Day Like This”;
Mark Cox of Wilmington, North Carolina, for “No Picnic in the Afterlife”; 
Tom Hansen of Custer, South Dakota, for “Body of Water, Body of Fire”; 
Judy Jordan of Anna, Illinois, for “Children of Salt”; 
Tim Mayo of Brattleboro, Vermont, for “The Body’s Pain”;
Robert McNally of Concord, California, for “Simply to Know Its Name”; 
Joel Peckham of Huntington, West Virginia, for “Body Memory”;
Brittney Scott of Richmond, Virginia, for “The Derelict Daughter”; and
Carol Westberg of Hanover, New Hampshire, for “Terra Infirma.”

The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry is given annually for a previously unpublished booklength manuscript. Judging is by the editors of Tampa Review, who are members of the faculty at the University of Tampa. Submissions are now being accepted for 2015. Entries must follow published guidelines and must be postmarked by December 31, 2014.

Complete guidelines are available at or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry, University of Tampa Press, 401 West Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Isabella David Wins
Eighth Annual Danahy Fiction Prize

ISABELLA DAVID OF RIDGFIELD, CONNECTICUT, has been selected as winner of the eighth annual Danahy Fiction Prize by the editors of Tampa Review. She will receive a cash award of $1,000 and her winning short story, “If the Meek Inherit the Earth, They'll Have Sons-of-Bitches for Lawyers,” will be published in the Fiftieth Anniversary Issue of Tampa Review.
     David is a French-American writer and actress, whose short story was partly inspired by her experiences as a “law spouse” at Washington and Lee University.
   “There were no other grad students in Lexington, so law spouses complained about being the odd men out (though most of us were women),” David says. “I got all the benefits of a small, tight-knit community without actually attending. The Black Law Student Association’s poetry meetings were the first time I read any of my writing aloud, and. . . . I became braver about sending my work out to be published instead of sitting on it as I’d been mostly doing. Now most of my friends are lawyers, and it was a wonderful opportunity for a shy writer.”
     David earned her degree in Comparative Literature and Languages from the University of Virginia, graduating early as an Echols scholar. She spent her senior year teaching high school French and English at a boarding school in Colorado. Subsequently, she moved to New York and began acting professionally on stage and in films in English and French. Along the way, in 2007 she won an award for Best in Festival at the Bad Plays Festival and in 2011, she wrote, directed and starred in a one-act play produced by Centerstage’s Friend Me Festival in Manhattan.
     David’s work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Lascaux Review, Slippery Elm, Contemporary Haibun, Interrupt Mag, The First Line Literary Magazine, Adbusters, Every Day Fiction, Every Day Poets, Postcard Shorts, and Postcard Poems & Prose among other places online and in print.
This year the judges also named six finalists for the Danahy Prize:

“Ruint Horse” by Thomas Atkinson of Anderson Township, Ohio;
“The Beer Garden” by Jill Birdsall of Rumson, N.J.;
“My Friend Bobby” by Michael Cuglietta of Orlando, Fla.;
“Fun With Color” by Dana Fitz Gale of Missoula, Montana;
“Natural Order” by Laurie Frankel of Corona Del Mar, Calif.; and
“For Mr. Potenza” by Ian Walters of Lafayette, Calif.

     The Danahy Fiction Prize was established by Paul and Georgia Danahy as an annual award for a previously unpublished work of short fiction judged by the editors of Tampa Review, the faculty-edited literary journal of the University of Tampa, published twice yearly in a distinctive hardback format and this year celebrating fifty years of literary publishing. Subscriptions are $22 annually, and those received before June will begin with the issue featuring David’s prize-winning story. The Danahy Fiction Prize is open to both new and widely published writers, with an annual postmark deadline of November 1. The $20 entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Tampa Review, and all entries submitted are considered for publication.

     Complete guidelines are available on the Web at or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to The Danahy Fiction Prize, University of Tampa Press, 401 West Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606.

Friday, September 20, 2013

John Bensko Wins Anita Claire Scharf Award

Tennessee writer John Bensko has been selected as winner of the second annual Anita Claire Scharf Award by the editors of Tampa Review. His new poetry manuscript, Visitations, will be published in Spring 2014 by the University of Tampa Press and the poet will be invited to read on the University of Tampa campus after the book is published next year.
     The Anita Claire Scharf Award is given to support publication of a book of poetry submitted to the annual Tampa Review Prize competition that significantly exemplifies or explores the interrelatedness of visual and verbal art and the interconnectedness of global cultures. The award is named in honor of the founding editorial assistant, and later associate and contributing editor, of Tampa Review who helped define the aesthetic and global values that are part of the journal’s mission.
     “This manuscript pushes beyond all kinds of borders,” said Richard Mathews, editor of Tampa Review, who worked with Scharf on the journal for more than seventeen years. “Anita always fostered thinking outside the box, and this prize manuscript pushes readers to enlarge their vision through imaginative leaps across time, space, and circumstance. And like Anita, Bensko has a special appreciation for the natural world, ecology, and visual art.

     “The poems of Visitations clearly delight in nature images—blooming lilacs, Sweet William, bayberry, persimmon, and even hornets with their ‘papery nest.’ We are unmoored from time and place to explore what it means to be fully human. It might be to savor a continuous strand of Southern culture—sugar cane, tobacco leaf, eroded fields, and old barns. But Bensko’s poems are visitations to multiple times and places and bodies. He allows us to inhabit both sides of a war, to move from the Hudson River Valley to Mississippi, or to
draw our souls through sheep, oxen, and shark. ”

     John Bensko’s previous three poetry books are Green Soldiers (winner of the Yale Younger Poets Award, Yale University Press), The Waterman’s Children (University of Massachusetts Press), and The Iron City (University of Illinois Press). He also has a story collection, Sea Dogs, published by Graywolf Press. His work has appeared in Georgia Review, Iowa ReviewNew England Review, New Letters, Poetry, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, The Southern ReviewShenandoah, and many other periodicals.

     He has been a Fulbright Professor at the University of Alicante in Alicante, Spain; and he teaches a summer creative writing course there through the University of Memphis, where he is a full-time faculty member along with his wife, the fiction writer Cary Holladay.

     “This manuscript shows remarkable craftsmanship and a sensitive ear for language,” Mathews adds. “The judges sensed the whole book coming together through metaphors from visual art near the end: ‘The brush along the canvas/leaves no more than a whisper. Still /the finished canvas must claim a voice.’ Bensko makes the universe into a canvas in the conclusion of this poem when he writes: ‘Above the leaves, heaven/cuts through
eyelids./It paints the body human/into the unseen gorges of the earth.‘ It’s a beautiful and stunning finish that Anita—and any reader—would applaud.”

     The Anita Claire Scharf Award is selected by the editors of Tampa Review from among the manuscripts submitted to the annual prize competition. Submissions for next year’s awards are now being accepted.

     To be eligible, authors are asked to submit a previously unpublished booklength manuscript. Judging is by the editors of Tampa Review, who are members of the faculty at the University of Tampa. There is a contest fee of $25, but each submitter receives a complimentary one-year subscription to Tampa Review. Entries must follow published guidelines and must be postmarked by December 31, 2013. All entries will be considered for both the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry and the Anita Claire Scharf Award.

     Complete guidelines are available at or by sending a self-addressed,
stamped envelope to:

The Tampa Review Prizes
University of Tampa Press
401 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33606.

Congratulations to John Bensko! We're looking forward to the release of Visitations; watch for it in Spring 2014. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Michael Hettich Wins 2013 Tampa Review Prize

Michael Hettich, of Miami, Florida, has been named winner of the 2013 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry. Hettich receives the twelfth annual prize for his new manuscript, Systems of Vanishing. In addition to a $2,000 check, the award includes hardback and paperback book publication in Spring 2014 by the University of Tampa Press. 
Hettich was born and raised in New York City and its suburbs. He has lived in upstate New York, Colorado, northern Florida, Vermont, and Miami, where he presently resides with his wife, Colleen. His previous books of poetry include Like Happiness (Anhinga Press, 2010) and The Animals Beyond Us (New Rivers Press, 2011). His most recent chapbook, The Measured Breathing, won the 2011 Swan Scythe Chapbook Contest.
Tampa Review judges commented that the poems in Systems of Vanishing “take startling imaginative leaps, leaving the familiar world transformed.”
“This is no simple vanishing act, but something truly magical,” the judges said. “Hettich works with readily accessible language and images that seem familiar, but through lush metaphor and hypnotic music,  he makes new realities spring to life in tropical abundance.
“His flights of magical realism can start from practically nothing. One poem begins with ‘a ladder propped against the air’ and follows a girl who climbs up, looks higher into the stars, and keeps on ‘climbing/through the constellations and off across the dark/where no one could find her forever.‘ These poems lead us toward new constellations of meaning and leave us there, awed and amazed by the journey.”
Hettich’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Orion, Poetry East, Alaska Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, TriQuarterly, Mudlark, and The Sun, as well as in many textbooks and anthologies, and he has collaborated widely with visual artists and musicians throughout Florida and nationally. He teaches at Miami Dade College.
A selection of poems from Systems of Vanishing will appear as a “sneak preview” in the next issue of Tampa Review, the award-winning hardback literary journal published by the University of Tampa Press.  Hettich’s book will be published during National Poetry Month in April 2014 and launched with a reading tour of Florida sponsored by the Florida Literary Arts Coalition.
The judges also announced twelve finalists this year: 
Lavonne J. Adams of Wilmington, N.C., for “Small Wishes for Grown Women”;
Cory Brown of Rochester, New York, for “Out in the Deep”;
Sigman Byrd of Westminster, Colorado,  for “The Blue Heaven of Emptiness”;
William Greenway of Youngstown, Ohio for “Tripwires”; 
Tom Hansen of Custer, South Dakota, for “Body of Water, Body of Fire”; 
Julie Hanson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for “Charmed in What Regard”; 
Brian Patrick Heston of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for “If You Find Yourself”; 
Leonard Kress of Perrysburg, Ohio, for “Ransacking the Library”; 
Teresa Leo of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, for “Bloom in Reverse”; 
Rose McLarney of Franklin, North Carolina, for “Its Day Being Gone”; 
B. V. OlguĂ­n of San Antonio, Texas, for “Red Leather Gloves”;  and
Seth Brady Tucker of Lafayette, Colorado,  for “We Deserve the Gods We Ask For.”
Tampa Review Prize judges also chose a second winning manuscript for a new book publication prize, the Anita Claire Scharf Award.  The announcement of that winner will be forthcoming within a few weeks.
The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry is given annually for a previously unpublished booklength manuscript. Judging is by the editors of Tampa Review, who are members of the faculty at the University of Tampa. Submissions are now being accepted for 2014. Entries must follow published guidelines and must be postmarked by December 31, 2013.
Complete guidelines are available online or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry, University of Tampa Press, 401 West Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606.