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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


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

 

Phillip H. McMath
Porter Prize

Last Updated 3/4/2014

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