As our reading process comes to a close here in Vermont, we’re thrilled to announce the Bennington Writing Prize judges for plain china 2012.
Best-selling novelist Sue Miller will judge for fiction. Miller is the author of ten novels (two of which have been adapted for major motion pictures) and a memoir, and served in 2003 as guest editor for the Best American Short Stories anthology. Here’s a video of Miller discussing her latest novel, The Lake Shore Limited. Also, read this comprehensive biography and interview with the author, in which she discusses her favorite books, music, the path to becoming a writer, and tips for aspiring authors.
Journalist Susan Orlean will judge for nonfiction. Author of eight books, Orlean has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1992, and has contributed to Rolling Stone, Vogue, and Esquire, among other magazines. She served as guest editor for the 2005 Best American Essays and for Best American Travel Writing 2007. See the original article Orlean wrote for The New Yorker that later became her nonfiction book, The Orchid Thief, which was adapted for the Spike Jonze film, Adaptation. And check out this video of Orlean selecting books she would want with her on a deserted island.
Tracy K. Smith, 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner for her book, Life on Mars, will judge for poetry. Her two previous collections also received national recognition: Duende won the James Laughlin Award and the Essence Literary Award, and The Body’s Question won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. See the Academy of American Poets bio of Smith, listen to her read her poem “Duende,” and hear her guest-read the news on NPR.