2018 Michigan Notable Book Award Won by SAILING INTO HISTORY, by Frank Boles

sailing-into-historymnb_notable-books-logoThe Library of Michigan 2018 Michigan Notable Books: Michigan’s 20 best books include Frank Boles’ Sailing into History: Great Lakes Bulk Carriers of the Twentieth Century and the Crews Who Sailed Them.
Sailing into History
describes the fascinating history of a century of achievements and setbacks, unimagined change mixed with surprising stability.  The Great Lakes create a vast transportation network that supports a massive shipping industry. In this volume, seamanship, cargo, competition, cooperation, technology, engineering, business, unions, government decisions, and international agreements all come together to create a story of unrivaled interest about the Great Lakes ships and the crews that sailed them in the 20th Century.


frank-bolesFrank Boles has been the director of Central Michigan University’s Clarke Historical Library since 1991. Previously, he worked at the University of Michigan, Chicago Historical Museum, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Boles received his archival training at Wayne State University, and was awarded a doctorate in history from the University of Michigan.

Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize Open for Submissions; Judge Announced

FG20'1 cover.inddThe 2018 Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize submission period opened January 1, 2018.
The judge will be Robin Hemley. He is an award winning writer, founder of NonfictioNOW, former director of the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa, and current director of the Writing Program and Writers’ Centre at Yale-NUS College, Singapore. His books include Do-Over! and Nola: A Memoir of Faith, Art, and Madness.

Find more info on the Fourth Genre  Prize page.

Judge Announced for Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize

Just in: The 2018 Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize judge will be Robin Hemley! He is an award winning writer, founder of NonfictioNOW, former director of the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa, and current director of the Writing Program and Writers’ Centre at Yale-NUS College, Singapore. His books include Do-Over! and Nola: A Memoir of Faith, Art, and Madness. 

The Prize opens for submissions on January 15, 2018. Find more info on our Prize page.

2016 Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize Winner Announced!

We are excited to announce that Molly Gallentines’s essay, “Powder House,” has been chosen as the winner of the 12th annual Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize! Judge Ned Stuckey-French shares his thoughts on the winning essay:

“Powder House” is an important, moving, fascinating, and beautiful essay. It’s also wonderfully odd, weaving together as it does meditations about St. Mark’s Place, the War on Terror, cookbooks, nineteenth century glue baron Peter Cooper, LBJ’s “Daisy” ad from the 1964 election, W. H. Auden, and the origins of Jell-O, among other things. There is a weird and comic narrative in which the author and her friend Brandon film a movie of themselves trying to make an orange gelatin mold using a Revolutionary Era recipe that calls for hand-ground hartshorn and isinglass, a collagen derived from the dried swim bladders of fish. As it happens, they are grating their deer antlers in the kitchen of Brandon’s apartment at 77 St. Mark’s Place, the same apartment building where the exiled Leon Trotsky wrote for the Russian revolutionary paper Novy Mir and Auden lived for the last 20 years of his life. But “Powder House” is a narrative essay mainly in the Montaignean sense. We don’t care so much about whether the gelatin will set properly. What pulls us along is the story of a mind thinking. Where will the next digression take us? What new connection will this distinctly American essay make? What more will we learn about history, place, memory, beauty, and art? A lot more as it turns out. I admire “Powder House” and its author very much.

“Powder House” will be published in Fourth Genre 19.1 (February 2017).

This year’s runner-up is Wilfredo Pascual with the essay “Terminus.”

To see more information about the Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize and to read about past winners, visit the essay prize page.


Fourth Genre is Notable!

Eight Fourth Genre authors were listed as Notables in Best American Essays 2015!

Congratulations to

  • BAE 15Amanda Giracca (“Within this Kingdom,” 16.1)
  • Penny Guisinger (“Coming Out,” 16.2)
  • Robert Long Foreman (“Dirty Laundry,” 16.1)
  • Judith Adkins (“Lingua Familia,” 16.1)
  • Patrick Mainelli (“But We Loved It All the Same,” 16.2)
  • Patricia Park (“How to Run a Supermarket,” 16.1)
  • Jill Christman (“The Avocado,” 16.1)
  • David Naimon (whose “Third Ear” (16.1) was also listed in Best American Travel Writing!)

2015 Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize Winner Announced

We are excited to announce that Kaitlyn Teer’s essay, “Ossification,” has been chosen as the winner of the 11th annual Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize! Judge Kate Carroll de Gutes shares her thoughts on the winning essay:

The narrative in Ossification really held me—skeletal and familial without being trite, it’s not just another grandparent narrative.  I was surprised, even though the title should have alerted me, when I realized the section headers were actually the spinal markers, and I immediately read the entire piece again, mapping each section’s content to the bony prominences of their headers.  I also liked—and I know Judith would have, too—the writer’s use of digression, from science catalogs to black ice to the continuity of standing at the sink doing dishes.  Judith believed strongly in digression. Here’s a bit of her take on it in a piece about lyric essay she wrote for Seneca Review:

“Too bad,” said my wonderful professor, “that you have so many good ideas, and no vehicle with which to express them.” Well, I had a vehicle, but it just wasn’t the one he recognized—the language of the scholarly article. It just didn’t dot the i’s or cross the t’s or proceed logically on its way to its point. It circled and spiraled; it doubled back; it digressed and prodded; it spoke in tongues. And yet I knew I knew what I knew—knew it in ways that, if I thought to remember, sounded a bit like my father’s way of knowing something that he then had to prove. But since there is no such thing as “proof” in literature, it seemed to me that all I had to do was find a way to show the direction of my thoughts. Demonstrate them. Point the reader toward my inconclusive conclusions.

“Ossification” does this beautifully.  It spirals like a spine with scoliosis, twisting ’round until the reader has a full picture, but no answers to the mystery of the body, the heart, and the families that hold both.

“Ossification” will be published in Fourth Genre 18.1 (February 2016).

QED Receives Honorable Mention at 2015 PROSE Awards

QED bowCongratulations to QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking for winning the honorable mention as “Best New Journal in Humanities and Social Sciences” at the 2015 PROSE Awards. Edited by Charles E. Morris III and Thomas K. Nakayama, QED is published 3 times per year by Michigan State University Press.

Complete list of PROSE winners here.

QED 2.1 is hot off the press! Visit the QED homepage to see content lists from recent issues,  read free feature articles, download past issues and articles, and SUBSCRIBE!

“Article of the Year” Win for Rhetoric & Public Affairs

R&PA article “‘Prepare to Believe': The Creation Museum as Embodied Conversion Narrative,” by John Lynch, has won the  Association for the Rhetoric of Science and Technology’s 2014 Article of the Year Award. This article was published in Rhetoric & Public Affairs vol. 16.1 (2013).

ARST posted the following announcement on their facebook page; please feel free to share the news!

“ARST Article of the Year Award!

The awards committee for the Association for the Rhetoric of Science and Technology’s third annual Article of the Year Award is pleased to announce the 2014 winner. The winning article is John Lynch’s “‘Prepare to Believe’: The Creation Museum as Embodied Conversion Narrative,” which was published in *Rhetoric & Public Affairs *16.1 (2013).

The ARST Article of the Year award recognizes an essay published in the previous calendar year that stands out for its extension of theoretical and practical knowledge of the rhetoric of science and technology, that can foster cross-disciplinary fertilization, that has the potential to teach future generations of scholars about rhetorical aspects of science and technology, and exhibits a high quality of writing and thinking.

Congratulations John!”

Don’t forget, you can read this R&PA article and others via MUSE and JSTOR, or purchase a print or electronic copy on our website.

Fourth Genre Essays Make “Notables” List in Best American Essays 2014

Congratulations to two Fourth Genre authors whose essays made the “Notables” list in Best American Essays 2014! Both essays appear in Fourth Genre vol. 15.1 (Spring 2013).

  • “The Half-Life,” by Annie Penfield (Winner of the Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize)
  • “Strip,” by Marya Hornbacher

You can purchase these individual essays or the complete issue in print and electronic format through our website. They are also available on MUSE and JSTOR.