The Scholarship Committee of the College of Liberal Arts has completed the judging for the Keene Prize in Literature and is pleased to announce the 2023 Keene Prize goes to Reena Shah, for the fiction entry, “Every Happiness.”
Reena Shah is a first-year fiction fellow at the Michener Center for Writers. Her work has appeared in The Masters Review, Electric Literature, Joyland, BBC, National Geographic, The Guardian, and elsewhere. She received the 2023 Keene Prize for her novel excerpt, Every Happiness, about a fraught and powerful friendship between two women who immigrate from Mumbai to Connecticut. The novel will be published by Bloomsbury in 2025.
The runners up (in alphabetical order):
Laurel Faye for the poetry entry, “VISITATIONS FROM THE VIRGIN OF CLOUD MOUNTAIN.”
Laurel Faye (she / her) is a poet and writer from Georgia. Her work has appeared in Foglifter, Sonora Review, Bahr, and elsewhere. She is currently a second year poet with the New Writer’s Project MFA at UT Austin. She was named a finalist for the 2023 Keene Prize for Literature for a selection of poems from her poetry manuscript “Visitations from the Virgin of Cloud Mountain.” The collection centres on the speaker’s fascination and developing relationship with the Mother of God in the year following the aftermath of assault.
Ashley Danielle Moore, for the fiction entry, “Bucket,” “Free Crib,” “Preparations,” and “Velvet.”
Ashley Moore is a writer from East Harlem. She is currently a first-year fiction fellow at the Michener Center for Writers. Her fiction has also appeared in Apogee Journal. She was named a finalist for the 2023 Keene Prize for four short stories from her linked short story collection.