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February 22, 2007

Drue Heinz lit prize winner announced

The 27th annual Drue Heinz Literature Prize was awarded to Kirk Nesset for his manuscript, “Paradise Road.” The winning submission was chosen by author Hilary Masters from nearly 300 entries and will be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press this fall.

Nesset, who teaches creative writing and literature at Allegheny College, said the stories in his collection “explore the pitfalls people suffer trying to find lasting meaning in love — experiences that, even as they tear us to pieces, lead us more deeply into ourselves [and] into recognition, at least, if not compassion.”

Nesset’s work includes “Mr. Agreeable,” a forthcoming short story collection, and “Saint X,” a forthcoming volume of poetry. He also wrote “The Stories of Raymond Carver,” a study of Carver’s short fiction, and “Alphabet World,” a translation of the poems of Venezuelan poet Eugenio Montejo.

A recipient of a Pushcart Prize and of numerous grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Nesset’s stories, poems and translations have appeared in, among others, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, The Southern Review and The Kenyon Review.

Masters said, “The figures and voices that appear in ‘Paradise Road’ are like ghosts from an ancient land that move toward their destinies with hope and defiance. Mr. Nesset conducts their journeys … with a sure hand while making fiction of striking originality and beauty.”

The Drue Heinz prize recognizes writers of short fiction. Manuscripts are judged anonymously by nationally known writers.

The prize includes an award of $15,000.

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