Every year, Orison Books publishes The Orison Anthology, a collection of the finest spiritually engaged writing that appeared in periodicals the preceding year. The anthology also includes previously unpublished work by the winners of The Orison Anthology Awards. Going forward, this annual anthology and its companion awards will have a new name: the anthology will be called Best Spiritual Literature, and the awards will be called The Best Spiritual Literature Awards. The winners announced here entered the contest under its previous name, but we will use the new name from here on.
Orison Books is pleased to announce the winners and finalists for The 2021 Best Spiritual Literature Awards in Fiction, Nonfiction, & Poetry! The winners will each receive $500 and publication in the upcoming Best Spiritual Literature volume.
Selected by SJ Sindu
Winner: Nancy Ludmerer, "The Loneliness Cure"
Finalists: Ann Cwiklinski, "Dragonfly" & Josh Rolnick, "Eulogy"
NONFICTION Selected by Molly McCully Brown Winner: Broderick Eaton, "Eulogy to a Tree" Finalists: Camille U. Adams, "Off the Edge of the World" & Elizabeth Paul, "It Runs Deep"
POETRY Selected by Leila Chatti Winner: B. Tyler Lee, "And All God's Queer Girls Said Amen" Finalists: Jason Gray, "My Brother's Dog Finds a Rabbit, Dead, on Easter Morning"; Joshua Gottlieb-Miller, "Great Mystics"; Karan Kapoor, "A Double Sestina for My Dead Grandfather & Dying Grandmother"; & Carolyn Oliver, "Celestial Bodies"
About the Winners
Nancy Ludmerer's fiction has appeared in Kenyon Review, Electric Literature, Cimarron Review, New Orleans Review, Best Small Fictions (a River Styx prizewinner), and the Saturday Evening Post. In recent years, her stories have won prizes from Masters Review, Carve, Pulp Literature, and Streetlight. Her short memoir “Kritios Boy” (Literal Latte) was named a notable essay in Best American Essays and other non-fiction has appeared in Green Mountains Review, The American Lawyer, Vogue, and Brain, Child. She practiced law in NYC for many years and continues to live there with her husband Malcolm and recently-adopted 13-year-old cat, Joseph.
Born and raised in Oregon, poet and author Broderick Eaton graduated from Sweet Briar College in Virginia. Motivated to publish following the passing of her mentor, Mary Oliver, her work has appeared in numerous publications. She is the recipient of the Sixfold Poetry Prize in addition to being named runner-up for the Erskine J. Poetry Prize and finalist for both the 49th Parallel Award and the poetry award in the Tucson Festival of Books. Her stories have been finalists for Sixfold and Tulip Tree Publishing contests. A poetry chapbook, Black Bird Blue, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in 2022. Broderick holds an MFA from Lindenwood University and lives with her family and an unreasonably large dog in the high desert of Oregon.
B. Tyler Lee is the author of the poetry chapbook With Our Lungs in Our Hands (Redbird Chapbooks, 2016). She won the 2020 Talking Writing Contest for creative nonfiction and participated in the Tin House ‘21 summer workshop. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in 32 Poems, Crab Orchard Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Hunger, Jet Fuel Review, Whale Road Review, and elsewhere. She lives with her children and partner in the Midwest.