Dzanc Books is pleased to announce the winner of the Dzanc Nonfiction Prize: Knock Wood by Jennifer Militello. In addition to publication in Fall 2019, the prize comes with a $1,500 advance.
In Militello’s collection of lyric nonfiction, a knock on wood to ward off illness sets off a series of events and memories that call into question the very structure of time. Obsessive habits, insane relatives, a criminal ex-lover dead of a heroin overdose, and a current lover untethered in time emerge as this book maps out a new chronology of love and loss.
Dzanc Books Editor-in-Chief Michelle Dotter said, “Like slivers of glass in a carefully arranged mosaic, every word in Knock Wood is vivid, precise, and sharp enough to cut. I enjoyed putting together the picture one piece at a time. We’re honored to have the chance to publish such an intricate and beautiful book.”
Jennifer Militello is the author of A Camouflage of Specimens and Garments, Body Thesaurus, and Flinch of Song, published by Tupelo Press. She said of winning the prize: “I can’t say how surprised and grateful I was to find out that Knock Wood had been awarded the Dzanc Books Nonfiction Prize. I feel so fortunate that the editors at Dzanc were moved by this quirky, lyric examination of time’s fluidity, this book born of my obsessions and built by twining together impassioned stories—of family, insanity, crime, and love—that happened decades apart.”
Dzanc Books is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization not only committed to producing quality literary works but providing creative writing instruction in public schools through the Dzanc Writers-in-Residence program and offering low-cost workshops for aspiring authors. Dzanc Books also runs annual prizes for novels and short story collections. For more information on the house, upcoming titles, and other prizewinners, please visit www.dzancbooks.org.