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Award-winning Stone Canoe journal launches second edition
Award-winning Stone Canoe journal launches second editionFebruary 06, 2008Eileen Jevisejevis@uc.syr.edu
Syracuse University has launched the second edition of Stone Canoe: A Journal of Arts and Ideas from Upstate New York. The 400-page publication features the work of 98 artists and writers, from all areas of the state and beyond, who have a connection to upstate New York. Submissions include a range of compositions from artists with international reputations to those who have never previously published or exhibited their work. Faculty from 10 upstate New York campuses are also represented.
A launch party attended by 250 people was held at the Delavan Art Gallery in downtown Syracuse on Jan. 26 to unveil the newest edition of the journal and to announce the four recipients of the 2008 Stone Canoe awards for emerging artists and writers.
Susan Robinson of Liverpool was awarded the Allen and Nirelle Galson Prize for Fiction. Robinson recently graduated from Le Moyne College with a degree in creative writing and film, having completed her degree over six years while working full time and helping to raise her granddaughter. This is her first published story.
Robinson says that her family was excited about her winning the fiction award, which is based on events she was experiencing at the time she wrote it. “It’s exciting to be published. Since it’s my first published piece, I’m happy that it was selected to be included in Stone Canoe.”
Cynthia Day of Utica received the Bea Gonzalez Prize for Poetry. Day has published in the Denver Quarterly, The Literary Review and the Southern Poetry Review, among other literary magazines. Four of her poems appeared in “Last Call: Poems of Alcoholism, Addiction, and Deliverance” (Sarabande Books, 1997). Her first novel, “Last House,” was serialized online at Big Tree Press, and she is now working on a second novel, “The Janeville Murders.” Day says she was thrilled with the news of the award, partly because she had been writing fiction for the last five years. “I hadn’t written poetry for a while, so I was worried that I was getting rusty,” she says. “I started writing poetry again, which is really my first love. I’m so impressed with the journal and everyone involved with the publication. I’m honored to be a part of it.”
The Michael Fawcett Prize for Visual Arts was awarded to Samantha Harmon of East Syracuse. A native of Utica, Harmon is currently pursuing a B.F.A. in sculpture at SU. In 2007, Harmon was awarded the Mark and Pearle Clements Internship Scholarship, which funded her summer internship at Sculpture Space in Utica. Harmon is currently studying in Florence, Italy.
The Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) Arts Leadership Prize was awarded to Dennis Pullen of Oswego. BBI advances the civic, economic and social participation of people with disabilities in a global society. Pullen, an artist and community activist who is also quadriplegic, has two oil paintings published in Stone Canoe, and his award-winning painting “Wolf” is on display at the Delavan Art Gallery. “I was speechless when I was presented with the award,” says Pullen. “The feeling was great. I’ve never gotten anything like that. It was awesome.” Pullen says that his favorite painting is “Wolf,” because he not only loves the animal but also enjoys the technique of stippling — applying layer after layer of paint and letting it dry in between. “The trick is waiting for each application to dry, which takes a week,” he says. “That’s sometimes difficult for me, because I’m not a very patient person.” Pullen, a graduate of AmeriCorps and a member of the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State, spends about four to six hours a week painting.
The award recipients received a certificate, a $500 check and a bronze replica of the original stone canoe carving by Tom Huff. Their work — as well as works of 30 other artists featured in Stone Canoe — is on display at the Delavan Gallery through Feb. 23.
The inaugural issue of Stone Canoe won a bronze medal in the 2007 Independent Publisher Book Awards, an international competition, as well as a Certificate of Excellence from the University Continuing Education Association (UCEA).
Issue Number 2 has contributions by two Pulitzer Prize winners, SU alumnus Stephen Dunn G’70 and Washington Post writer Henry Allen, a graduate of Hamilton College. Other prominent contributors include Randy Cohen, Emmy Award-winning writer and New York Times columnist; multimedia artist Janet Biggs; and internationally renowned painter Faith Ringgold.
SU Creative Writing Program faculty members Brooks Haxton and Chris Kennedy are also represented in the journal, as are several of their students. Haxton has published three previous collections of poetry, and his next book, “They Lift Their Wings to Cry,” will be published by Knopf in summer 2008. Kennedy is director of the M.F.A. program in creative writing and the author of three full-length collections of poetry. His latest book, “Encouragement for a Man Falling to His Death,” from BOA Editions Ltd., won The Isabella Gardner Poetry Award for 2007. Other SU faculty contributors include University Professor Cecil Abrahams and School of Art and Design faculty Doug DuBois, Nicora Gangi, Holly Greenberg, Sarah McCoubrey and Donalee Peden-Wesley.
Collaborating with Stone Canoe editor Robert Colley on Issue Number 2 was a team of editors from three upstate institutions who chose the work included in the journal and also selected the prize-winning pieces: poet Paul Aviles, who teaches in the English department at Onondaga Community College; poet Michael Burkard, who teaches in the Creative Writing Program at SU; poet, fiction writer and scholar David Lloyd, who teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Le Moyne College; and artist Marion Wilson, who directs Community Initiatives in the Visual and Performing Arts at SU and teaches in the School of Art and Design.
The editorships for the various genres will rotate each year among faculty or community arts people to ensure a fresh perspective for each issue.
Next year’s editors will be Eric Gansworth (fiction) a member of the Onondaga Nation, Lowery Writer-in-Residence and professor of English at Canisius College in Buffalo; Phil Memmer (poetry), director of the Arts Branch of the YMCA of Greater Syracuse and founder of the Downtown Writer’s Center; and Gail Hoffman (visual arts) teacher of 2-D creative processes and experimental animation in SU’s School of Art and Design.
The second edition of Stone Canoe is available at the SU Bookstore, the Delavan Art Gallery and area bookstores. For more information about Stone Canoe, visit http://www.stonecanoejournal.org or contact Robert Colley, editor, at 443-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.