By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, PoetryAs we double back to pick up more book and publishing industry awards wins, we look today at the 2022 Firecracker Award winners announced this summer by the Community of Literary Magazines & Presses (CLMP), a nonprofit organization supporting the work of small literary publishers.
Following our July story about the organization’s plan to honor three independent publishers at its November benefit, we now want to bring you up to date on this year’s CLMP Firecracker Award winners, which feature the interesting pattern of providing a cash prize both for a winning book’s author and for the independent press that produced the work.
This year, a winning book is awarded US$2,000, half of that going to the author or translator and half to the press. Each winner in a literary magazine category is awarded $1,000.
CLMP’s more-than 900 member-presses work in many formats: print and digital books, magazines, online publications, chapbooks, and zines. One of CLMP’s main efforts is to “increase the organizational capacity” of such publishers. In its mission statement, the organization (founded in 1967) says, “CLMP provides direct technical assistance to independent literary publishers and produces programs designed to bring the many communities our work touches together, including readers, writers, literary translators, booksellers, educators, and librarians.
This year’s Firecracker Awards are the eighth annual iteration of the program and have been issued in the categories of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, magazine/general excellence, and magazine/best debut. We’ll add the shortlists below.
- Sistories Literary Magazine
The 2022 CLMP Lord Nose Award
In addition to those key awards, the Firecrackers include a “Lord Nose Award,” conferred as a lifetime achievement award in literary publishing. It’s an award that honors the memory of the late Jonathan Williams, who was the founding publisher of The Jargon Society, and also was a prolific poet and photographer.
This year, that accolade goes to Bradford Morrow, who is the editori of Conjunctions, which publishes “innovative fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction by emerging voices and contemporary masters.”
In its rationale for Morrow’s selection, the CLMP announcement notes, “Morrow is author of 10 books of fiction, including the novels Come Sunday (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988), The Almanac Branch (Simon & Schuster, 1991), Trinity Fields (Viking, 1995), Giovanni’s Gift (Viking, 1997), Ariel’s Crossing (Viking, 2002), The Diviner’s Tale (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011), The Forgers (Mysterious Press, 2014), The Prague Sonata (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2017), and The Forger’s Daughter (Mysterious Press, 2020), and a collection of stories, The Uninnocent (Pegasus Books, 2013).
“Co-editor of the anthologies The New Gothic (Random House, 1991) and The Inevitable: Contemporary Writers Confront Death (W. W. Norton, 2011), Morrow is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the Academy Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, O. Henry and Pushcart Prizes, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
“He founded and edits the literary journal, Conjunctions, for which he received the PEN/Nora Magid Award, and has also published several volumes of poetry, including Posthumes (Cadmus Editions, 1982) and A Bestiary (Grenfell Press, 1990), as well as a children’s book, Didn’t Didn’t Do It (Putnam, 2007), in collaboration with the cartoonist Gahan Wilson.”
The 2022 CLMP Firecracker Awards Shortlists
- Farthest South and Other Stories by Ethan Rutherford, published by A Strange Object
- The House of Rust: A Novel by Khadija Abdalla Bajaber, published by Graywolf Press
- Householders by Kate Cayley, published by Biblioasis
- Pleasantview by Celeste Mohammed, published by Ig Publishing
- The Trees: A Novel by Percival Everett, published by Graywolf Press
- Dear Memory: Letters on Writing, Silence, and Grief by Victoria Chang, published by Milkweed Editions
- Footnotes: The Black Artists Who Rewrote the Rules of the Great White Way by Caseen Gaines, published by Sourcebooks
- Migratory Birds by Mariana Oliver, translated by Julia Sanches, published by Transit Books
- Names for Light: A Family History by Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint, published by Graywolf Press
- Plastic: An Autobiography by Allison Cobb, published by Nightboat Books
- book of the other: small in comparison by Truong Tran, published by Kaya Press
- CURB by Divya Victor, published by Nightboat Books
- Phantompains by Therese Estacion, published by Book*hug Press
- To Know Crush by Jennifer Jackson Berry, published by YesYes Books
- Winter Phoenix: Testimonies in Verse by Sophia Terazawa, published by Deep Vellum
Magazines: Best Debut
Magazines: General Excellence
- The American Poetry Review
- Bellevue Literary Review
- Chicago Review
- The Evergreen Review
- Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora
Jurors for the 2022 CLMP Firecracker Awards
- Donna Hemans, author of Tea by the Sea, published by Red Hen Press
- Carley Moore, author of The Not Wives, published by Feminist Press
- Cristina Rivera Garza, author of Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country, published by Feminist Press
- Ander Monson, author of I Will Take the Answer, published by Graywolf Press
- Joni Tevis, author of The World Is on Fire: Scrap, Treasure, and Songs of Apocalypse, published by Milkweed Editions
- Melissa Valentine, author of The Names of All the Flowers, published by Feminist Press
- Xan Phillips, author of Hull, published by Nightboat Books
- Lee Ann Roripaugh, author of tsunami vs. the fukushima 50, published by Milkweed Editions
- Jillian Weise, author of Cyborg Detective, published by BOA Editions
- Lana Barkawi, Executive and Artistic Director, Mizna
- Rob Greene, Publisher, Raleigh Review
- Miah Jeffra, Cofounder, Foglifter Journal
Submissions to the 2023 Firecracker Awards will be accepted in the fall. Finalists will be announced in spring 2023. The winners will be announced at the Firecracker Awards ceremony in June.
This is Publishing Perspectives’ 140th awards-related report in the 147 publication days since our 2022 operations began on January 3.
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