2014 Denny C. Plattner Awards

2014 Plattner Awards Photo

Appalachian Heritage is proud to announce the winners of the 2014 Denny C. Plattner Awards, presented to the authors of the work deemed by our judges to be the best pieces of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry that appeared in the magazine last year. The winners receive a $200 award and a handsome, hand-carved cherry book rack from Berea College Crafts. Honorable mentions also receive a book rack. This year’s judges were bestselling novelist Denise Giardina (fiction), essayist Patrick Madden (creative nonfiction), and acclaimed poet Kathleen Driskell (poetry).

FICTION
Winner: Patti Frye Meredith, “The Big Chair”

Honorable Mention: Jordan Farmer, “Lost in the Flood”
Judged by Denise Giardina

Giardina says: “Meredith’s story is carefully crafted, her characters are fully realized and believable, and their lives are ultimately moving. Well done.”

CREATIVE NONFICTION
Winner: Fenton Johnson, “Power and Obedience: Restoring Pacifism to American Politics”
Honorable Mention: Angel Sands Gunn, “Black Holes”
Judged by Patrick Madden

Madden says: “By combining personal, familial, and regional stories with philosophical statements, military history, and the development of the Titan Missile system, Fenton Johnson crafts a powerful essay on the pervasiveness of war and the importance of pacifism. A conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, Johnson remains deeply pensive but not polemical about the intricacies of human relations, and his personal experiences and meditations invite readers to ponder their own complicities in systems that seek to destroy rather than heal. “Power and Obedience: Restoring Pacifism to American Politics” does what the best essays do: it grapples with irremediable complexities through a strong individual voice that stands within the melee and does not flee.”

POETRY
Winner: Maurice Manning, “Translation”
Honorable Mention: L.S. McKee, “The Creek”
Judged by Kathleen Driskell

Driskell says: “Upon entering Manning’s fine poem, I understood within a line or two that this poem was from a master’s hand. There are so many things I could say about it in admiration—beginning with the word ‘so’ that commences the poem and lets the reader know this is an ongoing conversation the speaker has with self, but also a conversation with his own culture and even poetry (I hear and see habits of haiku throughout). Manning’s voice is completely of our present world, even as it effortlessly reaches back and engages the old work of poet as philosopher.”

Dylan Mullins is a Student Associate at Appalachian Heritage. A senior at Berea College, he is in pursuit of an English (Writing) major and in the summer of 2015 he was an editorial intern with Sierra Magazine in San Francisco. When he's not writing, he's usually biking, film making, or listening to podcasts.

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