AU Press Releases
English professor wins prize for poetry
The Bea Gonzalez Prize has been awarded annually since 2007 to a young writer for a series of three poems published in the Stone Canoe journal.
The current issue of Stone Canoe, the fourth since the Central New York arts journal began publication, contains three poems by Gray: “Nancy Drew, 45, Posts on Match.com,” “The Birds,” and “Three Scenes.”
Now in her fourth year on the Alfred University faculty, Gray says she was drawn to writing poetry “by the economy of language” poetry requires. Each word must be weighed and chosen to heighten the “intensity of emotion and experience.”
She received her B.A. degree in English from the University of Alabama, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, in 1994. She earned a master’s degree in English and creative writing from the University of Tennessee in 1997, and a Ph.D. degree in English and creative writing from the University of Cincinnati in 2001.
Gray has written a book, “The Man Under My Skin,” which was published in 2005 by River City Publications, Montgomery, AL, and a chapbook, “History in Bones,” which won the Kent State University Wick Poetry Chapbook Competition in 2001.
Her work has appeared in numerous poetry journals, including “Sou’wester,” “Poetry East,” “Southern Humanities Review,” “The Formalist,” “Blackbird,” Alabama Literary Review,” and “River City.”
She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, and has presented at several conferences, including several times at the Sewanee Writers Conference at the University of the South.
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Gray received her award from editor Robert Colley at the launch party for the fourth edition. The prize consists of a bronze replica of a sculpture of a stone canoe by Tom Huff, based on a Native American legend, as well as $500 cash.
Stone Canoe “showcases the work of a diverse mix of emerging and well-established artists and writers with connections to Upstate New York.” Affiliated with Syracuse University, the publication “nurture(s) creative community partnerships and seeks to promote a great awareness of the cultural and intellectual richness that characterizes life in the region.”