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Porter Prize
aka: Porter Fund Literary Prize

The Porter Fund, established in 1984, is a not-for-profit unincorporated association founded in honor of Dr. Ben Kimpel, who was chairman of the English department at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). It supports the written arts in the state of Arkansas, specifically by awarding an annual prize, which has been designated as the “Porter Prize,” to an Arkansas writer. (At Kimpel’s request, the prize was named in memory of his mother, Gladys Crane Kimpel Porter.) The prize is funded strictly with private donations and is presented annually at an awards ceremony to an Arkansas writer who has accomplished a substantial and impressive body of work that merits enhanced recognition. Its prize, $2,000, makes it one of the state’s most lucrative and prestigious literary awards.

Eligibility requires that the writer live in the state or be connected to Arkansas in some meaningful capacity. Honorees tend to be writers without high profile or national reputations but who have nevertheless produced a substantial and impressive body of work. The Porter Prize is not a contest. The winners are selected on a confidential basis by the past winners of the prize, who nominate and vote. In case of a tie, the award is shared.

Jack Butler, noted author of Living in Little Rock with Miss Little Rock, and Phillip H. McMath, attorney and writer (most notably of the Lost Kingdoms trilogy), founded the prize in 1984 in memory of Dr. Kimpel, their former teacher at UA. Four lifetime achievement awards have been bestowed, honoring Dee Brown, Donald Harington, Miller Williams, and Charles Portis.

The prize winners are:

 1985

 Leon Stokesbury

 Poetry

 1986

 Buddy Nordan

 Fiction

 1987

 Donald Harington

 Fiction

 1988

 Paul Lake

 Poetry

 1989

 Hope Norman Coulter

 Fiction

 1990

 James Twiggs

 Fiction

 1991

 Crescent Dragonwagon

 Fiction

 1992

 Andrea Hollander Budy

 Poetry

 1993

 No prize was awarded

 

 1994

 Werner Trieschmann

 Playwriting

 1995

 Norman Lavers

 Fiction

 1996

 David Jauss

 Fiction

 1997

 Dennis Vannatta

 Fiction

 1998

 Michael Heffernan

 Poetry

 1999

 Grif Stockley

 Fiction

 2000

 Jo McDougall

 Poetry

 2001

 Morris Arnold

 Non-Fiction

 

 Felda Brown

 Poetry

 2002

 Ralph Burns

 Poetry

 2003

 Kevin Brockmeier

 Fiction

 2004

 Michael Burns

 Poetry

 2005

 Shirley Abbott

 Non-Fiction

 

 Constance Merritt

 Poetry

 2006

 Donald “Skip” Hays

 Fiction

 2007

 Greg Brownderville

 Poetry

 2008

 Trenton Lee Stewart

 Fiction

 2009

 Roy Reed

 Non-Fiction

 2010

 Bob Ford

 Playwriting

 2011

 William Harrison

 Fiction

 2012

 Margaret Jones Bolsterli

 Non-Fiction

 2013

 Pat Carr

 Fiction

 2014

 Mara Leveritt

 Non-Fiction

For additional information:
Porter Prize. http://www.porter-prize.com/ (accessed March 4, 2014).

 

Phillip H. McMath
Porter Prize

Last Updated 10/22/2014

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