Friday, August 24, 2012

Introducing the Anita Claire Scharf Prize

Anita Claire Scharf was the founding editorial assistant of Tampa Review. She completed an English major at the University of Tampa, where she was also known for her creative writing, especially her poetry, and for her work on behalf of environmental preservation of Tampa Bay and its surrounding wetlands. She was an energetic advocate on behalf of literary and artistic cultural causes, and after graduation she contributed her energy and insights to literary publishing at the University of Tampa.

In 1987, Tampa Review, the faculty-edited literary journal of the University of Tampa, decided to add fiction, nonfiction, and art, with a complete redesign and expansion of the journal, founded in 1964 as UT Poetry Review and dedicated to the publication of poetry. Anita conceived the idea of using a drawing of one of the University of Tampa minarets being unveiled as an image to represent the launch of the expanded and re-designed journal. Two senior art students, Kathy Quesneil and Joang Van Bui, did the drawing of a minaret that was being reconstructed and restored at the time, and the first announcement for the unveiling of the new, enlarged journal appeared in early 1988, the year that Tampa Review 1 was published.

Anita's dedication to poetry, visual art, and ecology are values recognized through the new Anita Claire Scharf Awards, which will be given in her memory. The winner, chosen from the manuscripts submitted to the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry, will receive book publication by the University of Tampa Press and the winning poet will be invited to unveil the book and give a reading from it at the University of Tampa. The prize will be awarded for a manuscript that significantly exemplifies or explores the interrelatedness of visual and verbal art and the interconnectedness of global cultures.