Announcing the winners of the 2020 Juniper Literary Prizes

4/1/2020

UMass Press and the MFA for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are pleased to announce the 2020 winners of the Juniper Literary Prizes in Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction. All five works will be published in the spring of 2021.

Juniper Prize for Creative Nonfiction

Jennifer De Leon is the winner of the 2020 Juniper Prize for Creative Nonfiction for her collection, White Space: Essays on Culture, Race & Writing. The author of Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From and the editor of Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education, she is assistant professor of creative writing at Framingham State University. De Leon has published prose in over a dozen literary journals, including Ploughshares, Iowa Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review and is a GrubStreet instructor and board member. She lives in the Boston area.

Juniper Prize for Poetry

Bruce Bond’s Patmos is the winner of the 2020 Juniper Prize for Poetry. He is the author of twenty-six books including, most recently, Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods, Frankenstein's Children, Dear Reader, Words Written Against the Walls of the City, and The Calling. The recipient of the Tampa Review Prize, the Denver Writer’s Award, the Natalie Ornish Poetry Award, twenty-three Pushcart nominations, and two prizes from the Academy of American Poets, Bond is Regents Professor of English at University of North Texas.

Lara Egger has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Juniper Prize for Poetry: First Book for her collection How to Love Everyone and Almost Get Away with It. Her poems have appeared, or will soon appear, in Verse Daily, Ninth Letter, New Ohio Review, The Laurel Review, Washington Square Review, Salt Hill, The Pinch, and elsewhere. The recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council fellowship, winner of the Arts & Letters Rumi Prize, and a two-time Pushcart nominee, Egger lives in Boston, where she co-owns a Spanish tapas bar.

Juniper Prize for Fiction

Pete Duval's short story collection, The Deposition, is the recipient of the 2020 Juniper Prize for Fiction. His first collection, Rear View (Houghton Mifflin), won the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Bakeless Literary Publication Prize, the Connecticut Book Award, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times’ Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. Duval’s fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Ascent, The Massachusetts ReviewAlaska Quarterly Review, Witness, Chelsea, Exquisite Corpse, and Appalachian Heritage, among other venues. A street and landscape photographer, he is based in Philadelphia.

Claire Cox is the winner of the Juniper Prize for Fiction for her debut novel, Silver Beach. A former teenage playwright, she was born and raised in San Diego, California and earned her BA at Hampshire College and her MFA at Hunter College. Her publishing credits include a story forthcoming in The Missouri Review. She lives with her husband and young son in New York City, where she has taught high school English since 2005.

Background:

The Juniper Literary Prize Series takes its name from Fort Juniper, the house that the poet Robert Francis (1901–1987) built by hand in the woods in western Massachusetts. When UMass Press launched the Juniper Prize for Poetry in 1975, we were one of the first university presses to publish contemporary poetry. We introduced the Juniper Prize for Fiction in 2004 to honor outstanding novels and short story collections and expanded our poetry and fiction prizes twofold in 2015 in order to mark the fortieth year of cooperation between the Press and the UMass Amherst MFA Program. In 2019, the first Juniper Prize for Creative Nonfiction was awarded.

The winners of the prizes are published by the University of Massachusetts Press and each author receives a $1,000 award upon publication. This year’s contest runs from August 1—September 30 and guidelines for all of the Juniper Prizes are available at our website, umass.edu/umpress/juniper.

We extend our thanks to all of the writers who participated in this year’s Juniper Prize competition.