Katherine Noble, English ’13, has won the $50,000 Keene Prize for Literature for her collection of poems, “Like Electrical Fire Across the Silence.” She is the first undergraduate to win or place in the competition, which awards one of the world’s largest student literary prizes.
“I have been affected by images from biblical myths since I was a young girl, and the narrators in my poems often wrestle to understand how God interacts with the physical world,” Noble says. “The collection also has a long poetic essay called ‘In the Empire of Flesh,’ which I wrote after a couple of meaningful, but failed, relationships.”
In addition, three finalists will each receive a $17,000 prize. Finalists include: Corey Miller, a Michener Center graduate student, for a collection of poems, “The New Concentration”; Karan Mahajan, a Michener Center graduate student, for an excerpt from his novel, “Notes on a Small Bomb”; and Jenn Shapland, an English graduate student, for her essay collection, “Finders Keepers.”
Established in 2006 in the College of Liberal Arts, the Keene Prize is named after E.L. Keene, a 1942 graduate of the university, who envisioned an award that would enhance and enrich the university’s prestige and support the work of young writers. Students submit poetry, plays and fiction or nonfiction prose.