Shenandoah announces winner of 2016 Graybeal-Gowen Prize for Virginia Poets

shenandoahJess Quinlan of Staunton, Virginia, is the winner of the annual Graybeal-Gowen Prize for Virginia Poets offered by Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review for the best poem entered by a Virginia poet.

She will receive a cash award of $500, and her poem “Wahunsenacawh” will appear on the Shenandoah website,, as part of the fall 2016 issue.

Quinlan’s poem looks back at a moment in early Virginia history when Native American chieftain Powhatan prepares to leave his accustomed homeland and travel westward towards his death.

She is an M.F.A. graduate of Hollins University and works as a technical writer. She is also an advisory editor for The James Dickey Review.

Mary Crockett Hill was selected as runner-up for her poem “Memento Mori,” which addresses various methods of preserving the memory of loved ones who have died. Hill is the author of two books, including “A Theory of Everything” (Autumn House).

The contest was judged by Mark Sanders who is the professor and chair of the English Department at Stephen F. Austin State University. He is the author of seven books including “Conditions of Grace: New and Selected Poems” (2012) and “Landscapes, with Horses” (poetry, 2013).

Previous winners of the prize include Elizabeth Murawski, Judith McCombs, Nancy Schoenberger and Juliana Daugherty. The judge for the next prize will be revealed after the results have been announced. No members of the Washington and Lee Community or their immediate families are eligible.

The Graybeal-Gowen Prize is dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Priscilla Gowen Graybeal’s father, Howerton Gowen, W&L ’30, a lifelong lover of poetry.  The prize is donated by Mrs. Graybeal and her husband James (W&L ’49).

Submissions to the annual Graybeal-Gowen Prize for Virginia Poets are welcomed from all writers born in Virginia, as well as those with current legal residency of a year or more. No entry fee is required. Poets may enter as many as three poems of no more than 50 lines each and should send submissions between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15, 2016, through the submissions link on Shenandoah’s website to the submittable page and a platform with specific instructions for downloading Graybeal-Gowen entries.

For more information, contact R. T. Smith at (540) 458-8908 or


UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Feedback from buyers: “Got the Book in the Mail Saturday, and could not put it down! Great read and great photography as well! Love all of the books I’ve received, but hands down, this is my favorite!” – Russell

Buy here.

augusta free press news
augusta free press news
augusta free press news