Fiction writer and Penn State Erie lecturer Eugene Cross has won the 2009 Dzanc Prize. The $5,000 prize is based on a manuscript-in-progress as well as a proposal for a writing-related community service project. Dzanc writes:
Cross was selected from more than 100 applicants for both the quality of his fiction writing, as well as his proposal to set up and run a progressive series of creative workshops for refugees from Nepal, Sudan and Bhutan, in Erie. For his community service, Cross will conduct three 4-month workshops in concurrence with an ESL class currently being taught. We at Dzanc found Eugene’s conviction in the importance of providing the tools for self-expression to these displaced individuals to be a monumentally significant undertaking. Eugene’s work will help people going through an extremely tough time find a means of expression and a way to share their experiences.
I had the pleasure of meeting Eugene this past August at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, so I can add that this the committee has picked a thoughtful, kind, and very talented writer. You can read his short story “The Brother” in Narrative. Congratulations, Eugene!