feminism, race, transnationalism

2024 Creative Writing Award Recipients

The Creative Writing Advisory Board (CWAB) is essential to reviewing submissions from the annual Elizabeth Alexander Creative Writing Award and ultimately, choosing its winners. This year, the CWAB chose Maryam Ala Amjadi and Winniebell Xinyu Zong as the winners of the award.

Maryam Ala Amjadi’s winning piece, “The Ice Seller of Hell” will be published in Volume 23, Number 2.

Maryam Ala Amjadi is an Iranian writer, translator, researcher, and a City of Asylum fellow at
the Black Mountain Institute (UNLV). She is the author of two poetry collections, a poetry
chapbook, and the translator of a selection of Raymond Carver’s poems into Persian. Ala Amjadi
holds a joint PhD in literary and cultural studies as an Erasmus Mundus fellow from Kent (UK)
and Porto (Portugal) universities. She was previously a writer for the Tehran Times Daily and a
writer-in-residence at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa (2008). Ala
Amjadi’s poems and translations of contemporary Iranian poets have been published and
anthologized internationally. Her latest poetry collection, Where Is the Mouth of That Word?
(Selected Poems)
was published in November 2022 by Poetrywala.

Learn more about Maryam Ala Amjadi here.

Winniebell Xinyu Zong’s winning piece, “Ba’s Recipe for COVID Prevention” will be published in Volume 24, Number 1.

Winniebell Xinyu Zong is a Chinese poet and chapbook editor at Newfound Press. In 2022, she was the recipient of the Mellon Fellowship for the Urban Justice Lab, a semi-finalist for the 92NY Discovery Poetry Prize, and a finalist for Palette Poetry’s Emerging Poets Prize. In 2023, she was a semi-finalist for the Key West Literary Seminar Scotti Merrill Award and longlisted for the Adroit Gregory Djanikian Scholars. Her recent poems have appeared in POETRY, Poetry Daily, swamp pink, The Southern Review, among others, and are anthologized with Haymarket Books and GASHER Press. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets, Best of Net, and AWP’s Intro Journals Project, Zong holds an MA from Kansas State University and an MFA from Cornell University, where she now teaches creative writing as a lecturer. You can find her at winniebellxzong.com.

Learn more about Winnibell Xinyu Zong here.

Honorable Mentions

Amissa Miller’s Honorable Mention, “Heart like an Ocean” is set to be published in a forthcoming issue.

Amissa Miller is a theatre artist whose work explores Black femme interiority and ancestral connection. Her plays include Her Own Things (published in African Voices Magazine), Breaths (produced by Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco), and Refusal of the Call (developed for PlayGround SF Reading Series).

Shiv K’s Honorable Mention, “Pride Was a Riot, But Mine Was Different” will be published in a forthcoming issue.

Shiv K (they/she) is a queer ezhava malayalee-american writer. They are a runner up for Stellium Literary Magazine’s Cusp Prize in Prose Poetry. Their work can also be found in Only Good Poems, Nat. Brut, and Long River Review. They are in solidarity with liberation movements and oppressed people across the globe, from Kashmir to Palestine to Atlanta to Congo and more. They hope that you are truly doing well.