PN announces winner of Waasnode Short Fiction Prize

by JHow on May 13, 2014

in Announcements, Blog


Photo by Hannah Nicole

The winner of Passages North’s Wassnode Short Fiction Prize has been selected: Miriam Karmel for her story “Pocket Full of Posies.” Final judge Rus Bradburd says this:

In Mary Robison’s great novel, Why Did I Ever, the first-person narrator confronts the devastating grief and anguish of her life, one very short episode at a time. The short story “Pocket Full of Posies” takes a similar stance as Robison’s novel, and the results are just as powerful. Miriam Karmel seems to be channeling some of my other favorite writers: Evan Connell (in particular, the short chapters of Mrs. Bridge), the talented young Robin Romm (author of The Mother Garden) and some of the best stories of Grace Paley. What I admire most about “Pocket Full of Posies” is the way Karmel is able to construct a marriage, a lost mother, and an ongoing state of sorrow out of the smallest moments. The story, at first glance, seems to be without plot, but the moments accumulate and gain weight and power. What keeps this story from being morose—it sounds morose so far, huh?—is the author’s keen and quirky sense of humor with just a sprinkle of grace and compassion. The results are both comic and tragic, a neat trick indeed.

Karmel’s story will appear in Issue 36 of Passages North, due out next winter. Thanks to everybody who entered!

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