Featured News | April 3, 2018
Maria Lisa Eastman of Hyattville and Renée Carrier of Hulett are the recipients of the Wyoming Arts Council’s 2018 Blanchan and Doubleday writing awards.
Eastman won the Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award for her entry, “Regarding the Others,” and Carrier received the Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award for her entry, “The Riven Country of Senga Munro.”
An honorable mention for the Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award was given to Earle Layser of Alta, and an honorable mention for the Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award was given to Lyndi Bell O’Laughlin from Kaycee.
The Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award and the Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award are made possible through the generosity of a private donor. The Blanchan award is given for the best writing that is informed by a relationship with the natural world; the Doubleday award is given for the best writing by a woman writer. Both awards are designed to bring attention to writers in Wyoming who have not yet received wide recognition for their work, and to support emerging writers at crucial times in their careers.
Wyoming rancher Maria Lisa Eastman hails from the suburbs of Hyattville, pop. 100. She and her husband Skip operate the Oxbow Ranch, a sometimes-for- profit hay and cattle outfit, and Rainhorse Equine Assisted Services, a verifiable non-profit, where unfortunate horses are rehabilitated to help people who have had troubles themselves. She’s been convinced from an early age that horses are her next-of- kin, and they have long been her guides. While riding colts out in the foothills of New Mexico, she began to collect and study the native grasses, and was inspired to earn a degree in range and watershed. Maria likes to think the good life she lives now was given to her by horses. Her poetry arises from the vast landscapes of northwest Wyoming, from its animals, plants, and people.
Raised in an Air Force family, Renée Carrier began school in France and lived in five Southern states, before “migrating” to Wyoming at eighteen to attend the university, where she earned a B.A. in French. Her collection of creative, non-fiction essays, “A Singular Notion,” was published in 2006 by Pronghorn Press, a small press in Wyoming, under their imprint, Higher Shelf. In 2010, she edited, compiled and published, as a short run, her late father’s early aviation memoir. Devils Tower Natural History Association hired her to revise parts of “The Devils Tower Climbing Handbook” in 1994. The Owen Wister Review, among other anthologies, has included her work. Since January 2015, Renée has been working on a series, mainly set in the Black Hills. “The Riven Country of Senga Munro” is the working title of the first novel. She has completed two more, with the third presently in revision.
The juror for this year was Melissa Kwasny. She is the author of six books of poetry, including “Where Outside the Body is the Soul Today,” selected by Linda Bierds for the Pacific Northwest Poetry Series (University of Washington Press 2017), “Pictograph” (Milkweed Editions 2015), and “Reading Novalis in Montana” (Milkweed Editions 2009). Her second book “Thistle” won the Idaho Prize in 2006 and was published by Lost Horse Press. Kwasny lives in the Elkhorn Mountains outside Jefferson City, Montana and teaches at Carroll College in Helena.