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Director of Writers Institute Awarded Best Essay Prize

June 7, 2007

SELINSGROVE, ( Pa. ) – Gary Fincke, professor of English and creative writing and director of The Writers Institute at Susquehanna University, has been awarded the 2006-2007 Dr. O. Marvin Lewis Essay Award for the best essay published in Weber Studies, a literary magazine produced by Weber State University). The award is named in honor of Dr. O. Marvin Lewis, a writer and physician who served as chief of medicine and president of the medical staff at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah, and had several of his creative works published in Weber Studies.

Fincke's winning essay, “Cemeteries,” was reprinted in Valparaiso University’s The Cresset. The essay will be included in Fincke's book-length memoir The Canals of Mars, which will be published by Michigan State University Press in early 2008.

Other chapters from Fincke's memoir have been published in a variety of literary magazines, including Shenandoah, Tampa Review, Southern Humanities Review and International Quarterly. Six of the stories have been cited in the annual Best American Essays anthology.  The title essay, “The Canals of Mars,” won a Pushcart Prize and was subsequently reprinted in The Pushcart Essays, an anthology of the best nonfiction published in the first 25 years of the Pushcart volumes.

Fincke is also the winner of the 2003 Flannery O'Connor Prize for Short Fiction for his short story collection, Sorry I Worried You. Other awards bestowed upon Fincke's work include the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry magazine and the Rose Lefcowitz Prize from Poet Lore. In addition, he has received a PEN Syndicated Fiction Prize, the 2003 George Garrett Fiction Prize and seven fellowships for creative writing from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

A prolific writer, Fincke has published 16 books of poetry, short fiction and nonfiction. His poems, stories and essays have appeared in such periodicals as Harper', Newsday, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, American Scholar and Doubletake. He has been cited nine times in the past 10 years for a “Notable Essay” in the anthology Best American Essays.

Contact: Victoria Kidd


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