Annual Bard Fiction Prize Is Awarded to Clare BeamsANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Author Clare Beams has received the Bard Fiction Prize for her debut collection of short stories, We Show What We Have Learned (Lookout Books 2016). Beams’ residency at Bard College is for the fall 2020 semester, during which time she will continue her writing and meet informally with students. Beams will give a public reading at Bard in spring 2020.
The Bard Fiction Prize committee writes: “The nine stories in Clare Beams’ debut collection of fiction, We Show What We Have Learned, range from factual, historical settings and characters to eerily fantastical ones, displaying a startling depth and an epic scale of imagination. While the characters, and the situations they find themselves in, are sometimes surreal, their psychologies are always absolutely real—fully, compassionately drawn. Every one of these stories has a world and a lifetime behind it, and every one is a compelling, disquieting, and immensely pleasurable journey, reverie, and dream for its reader. Clare Beams is a subtle, quiet master of short fiction, who writes in beautiful and exquisitely crafted prose.”
“I am so much more grateful to Bard and to the Bard Fiction Prize committee than I can possibly say for this recognition of my work and for this gift—one of the best gifts anyone could give me, as a writer who’s also a parent of young children—of time. To join this list of winners, so many who are heroes and heroines of mine, is an honor, and to join the inspiring Bard community is a thrill. I can’t wait to meet the students and faculty and work on my third book, a new novel, in their midst,” says Beams.
Clare Beams is the author of the story collection We Show What We Have Learned, which was a Kirkus Best Debut of 2016 and a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, and the Shirley Jackson Award. Her first novel, The Illness Lesson, will be published by Doubleday in February of 2020. Her fiction appears in One Story, n+1, Ecotone, The Common, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and elsewhere, and she has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and two daughters, and has taught creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University and St. Vincent College.
The creation of the Bard Fiction Prize, presented each October since 2001, continues Bard’s long-standing position as a center for creative, groundbreaking literary work by both faculty and students. From Saul Bellow, William Gaddis, Mary McCarthy, and Ralph Ellison to John Ashbery, Philip Roth, William Weaver, and Chinua Achebe, Bard’s literature faculty, past and present, represents some of the most important writers of our time. The prize is intended to encourage and support young writers of fiction, and provide them with an opportunity to work in a fertile intellectual environment. Last year’s Bard Fiction Prize was awarded to Greg Jackson for his short story collection Prodigals (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2016).
ABOUT THE BARD FICTION PRIZE
The Bard Fiction Prize is awarded to a promising emerging writer who is an American citizen aged 39 years or younger at the time of application. In addition to a $30,000 cash award, the winner receives an appointment as writer in residence at Bard College for one semester, without the expectation that he or she teach traditional courses. The recipient gives at least one public lecture and meets informally with students. To apply, candidates should write a cover letter explaining the project they plan to work on while at Bard and submit a CV, along with three copies of the published book they feel best represents their work. No manuscripts will be accepted. Applications for the 2019 prize must be received by June 15, 2020. For information about the Bard Fiction Prize, call 845-758-7087, send an e-mail to email@example.com, or visit bard.edu/bfp. Applicants may also request information by writing to: Bard Fiction Prize, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000.
About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, is an independent, residential, coeducational college offering a four-year B.A. program in the liberal arts and sciences and a five-year B.A./B.S. degree in economics and finance. The Bard College Conservatory of Music offers a five-year program in which students pursue a dual degree—a B.Music and a B.A. in a field other than music. Bard offers M.Music degrees in conjunction with the Conservatory and The Orchestra Now, and at Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bard and its affiliated institutions also grant the following degrees: A.A. at Bard High School Early College, a public school with campuses in New York City, Cleveland, Baltimore, and Newark, New Jersey; A.A. and B.A. at Bard College at Simon’s Rock: The Early College, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and through the Bard Prison Initiative at six correctional institutions in New York State; M.A. in curatorial studies, M.S. in economic theory and policy, and M.S. in environmental policy and in climate science and policy at the Annandale campus; M.F.A. and M.A.T. at multiple campuses; M.B.A. in sustainability in New York City; and M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in the decorative arts, design history, and material culture at the Bard Graduate Center in Manhattan. Internationally, Bard confers dual B.A. and M.A. degrees at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, St. Petersburg State University, Russia (Smolny College); dual B.A. and M.A.T. degrees at Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem; and dual B.A. degrees at American University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan and Bard College Berlin: A Liberal Arts University.
Bard offers nearly 50 academic programs in four divisions. Total enrollment for Bard College and its affiliates is approximately 5,500 students. The undergraduate College has an enrollment of more than 1,900 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. In 2016, Bard acquired the Montgomery Place estate, bringing the size of the campus to nearly 1,000 acres. For more information about Bard College, visit bard.edu.
Bard Press Contact:Mark Primoff
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