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Shanti Weiland’s Sister Nun wins 2015 Negative Capability Press Book Competition

Author Shanti Weiland

Author Shanti Weiland

Negative Capability Press is pleased to announce that after careful deliberation, notable poet and judge Amy King of New York, has chosen Shanti Weiland’s Sister Nun as the winner of our 2015 Book Competition. Weiland’s Sister Nun is about a woman who joins a Buddhist convent in response to a broken heart. The manuscript begins with the speaker, who names herself “Sister Nun,” escaping over the wall of the convent even though she has, in no way, been held captive. During the rest of the manuscript (and the rest of her life, which spans over 215 years, not including her casual second-coming) she explores her identity, sexuality, and the path to enlightenment by wrestling alligators, vacationing in hell, and traveling through time and space.

Weiland received her BA in English from the University of California, Davis and later moved to the desert, pursuing a Creative Writing MA at Northern Arizona University. She then traveled to the humid and friendly south, where she earned a Ph.D in Poetry from the University of Southern Mississippi. She’s recently been published in Toad the Journal, Bop Dead City, Front Porch Review, and Third Wednesday, and has poems forthcoming in Mad Hatter’s Review and Two Cities Review. She currently teaches
writing and literature at The University of Alabama.


Weiland’s book is “polished, unusual and lovely” according to the judge, Amy King, “but it is even more than that. I don’t remember when I read a book of poetry that I couldn’t put down. Sister Nun is an unforgettable character – and this book that bears such a strong character’s name reminds me of Jane Eyre, Emma, Anna Karenina, and Lolita deserves to be in such elite company.”   

Weiland will receive a $2000 prize and a publishing contract with Negative Capability Press. Sister Nun will be published in 2016.

In addition to Weiland, King also chose two manuscripts to receive Honorable Mention. Those chosen are Steven Teref’s Foreign Object and Kate Angus’ So Late to the Party. It was “not easy,” Amy King said when judging this competition. Angus and Teref will be offered book contracts with Negative Capability Press.

Steven Teref is the translator of Ana Ristovic's Directions for Use (Zephyr Press) and Novica Tadic's Assembly (Host Publications, 2009). His poetry and translations have appeared in The Volta, Asymptote, and International Poetry Review, with work forthcoming in Negative Capability, Tarpaulin Sky, and Aufgabe. Kate Angus is the founding editor of Augury Books. Her work has appeared in Indiana Review, Subtropics, Court Green, The Awl, The Millions, Verse Daily, The Rumpus, Gulf Coast, Best New Poets 2010 and Best New Poets 2014, among other places.

Judge Amy King’s forthcoming book, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. Of her most recent book from Litmus Press, I Want to Make You Safe, John Ashbery described her poems as bringing “abstractions to brilliant, jagged life, emerging into rather than out of the busyness of living.” King joins the ranks of Ann Patchett, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rachel Carson, Barbara Bush, and Pearl Buck as the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the WNBA Award (Women’s National Book Association).  She was also honored by The Feminist Press as one of the “40 Under 40: The Future of Feminism” awardees, and she received the 2012 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. Her website is amyking.wordpress.com.

Negative Capability Press was founded in Mobile, Alabama and has been publishing award-winning books and a journal since 1981. They are committed to publishing quality books of exciting and innovative poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. They are a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization and are designated by the State of Alabama as a Domestic Nonprofit Corporation. Negative Capability Press is a Member of APSS: Association of Publishers for Special Sales (formerly SPAN) and the Poetry Society of America. For more information please visit www.negativecapabilitypress.org.