The quarterly editor . . . must become a first-rate critic in the act of organizing his material, four times a year, into coherent criticism.— Allen Tate

Kent Nelson Wins Prize

Sewanee Review contributor Kent Nelson has won the The Drue Heinz Literature Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press for his book of The Spirit Bird: Stories. This collection includes two short stories that were originally published in the SR—"Seeing Desirable Things" and "The Sunbittern," which appears in The Spirit Bird as "La Garza del Sol." PEN/Faulkner Award Winner David Guterson, who judged the competition, said of Nelson’s work: “It’s a collection set in disparate geographies and touching on disparate lives, but it explores consistently the terrain of loneliness and yearning. . . . These stories open out instead of closing up.” You can read the collection's title story, “The Spirit Bird,” over at the VQR. The story focuses on a group of birders, characters no doubt familiar to Nelson, who according to the VQR “has a North American life bird list of 748 species” (wow!).

Look for Nelson's most recent fiction, a short story called "Lucky," in our summer 2014 issue.