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LUISA IGLORIA, NATALIE DIAZ WIN TOP PRIZES IN NATIONAL LITERARY CONTEST

A faculty member and recent master's graduate from Old Dominion University's Creative Writing Program have won two of the three awards in the 2007 Bellingham Review literary contest.

Luisa Igloria, associate professor of English, received the 49th Parallel Poetry Prize and Natalie Diaz, who graduated in May with a master of fine arts degree, was awarded the Tobias Wolff Fiction Prize.

Both awards include a $1,000 prize and publication of the works in the journal, which is affiliated with Western Washington University.

Igloria's poem, "The Clear Bones," was one of 1,000 entries in the poetry contest. Poet Carolyne Wright, who judged the 12 finalist poems, said of Igloria's work: "This poem enacts moments of wonder enabled by a bracing intellectual curiosity, demonstrated herein explorations of relationships between the applied arts (paper-making) and the arts of divination: realms of deep relevance to writers. ..."

Igloria, who has taught at Old Dominion since 1998, also recently was selected as the 2007 winner of the James Hearst Poetry Prize for her poem, titled "Venom." Presented by North American Review, the nation's oldest literary magazine which is published by the University of Northern Iowa,
the award includes a $1,000 prize.

Diaz, who received her bachelor's degree in English from ODU in 2000 and was a four-year player for the Lady Monarchs basketball team, won Bellingham's fiction prize for her short story, "The Hooferman." Born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian village in Needles, Calif., Diaz said the story is about a "mythological creature that is equated with the devil in my Mojave culture" and addresses "the reality of violence, evil, alienation and exile."

Diaz's story was one of more than 500 contest submissions. Judge Peter Rock said of "The Hooferman": "This story is a marvel of wonder and precision.
It cleaves to a great physicality ... and does not mistake length for profundity or power."

In June, Diaz also won the Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry given by Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry for her "No More Cake Here" and other poems. Her set of three poems was among more than 550 contest entries. As first prize winner, she receives $2,000 and a trip to the University of Tulsa, where she will give a reading and participate in a poetry workshop/conference.

Diaz also was a recent finalist in the Iowa Review fiction contest, and will have her story published in the journal.

This article was posted on: June 13, 2007

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