Awards: Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Flannery O'Connor Winners

The winners of the 2019 Dayton Literary Peace Prize are:

Nonfiction: Rising Out of Hatred by Eli Saslow, which chronicles the awakening of a prominent young white supremacist
Nonfiction Runnerup: Tigerland by Wil Haygood, about two sports teams from a poor, black high school in Ohio who both become state champions in 1969

Fiction: What We Owe by Golnaz Hashemzadeh Bonde, about Iranian refugees living in Sweden
Fiction Runnerup: The Overstory by Richard Powers, about nine Americans whose life experiences with trees bring them together to address the impact humans have had on forests

Inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize celebrates the power of literature to promote peace, social justice, and global understanding. This year's winners will be honored at a gala ceremony in Dayton, Ohio, on November 3.


Patrick Earl Ryan has won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction for his collection of short stories called If We Were Electric. The collection will be published in 2020 by the University of Georgia Press, sponsor of the award.

Ryan's work has been printed in the Ontario Review, Pleiades, Best New American Voices, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Men on Men: Best New Gay Fiction for the Millennium and the James White Review, among other publications. Founder and editor-in-chief of Lodestar Quarterly and former editor-in-chief of Fourteen Hills: The SFSU Review, he has also taught martial arts philosophy and tai chi chuan for many years.

Flannery O'Connor series editor Roxane Gay commented: "If We Were Electric, the debut short story collection from New Orleans native Patrick Ryan is, indeed, fiercely electric. These twelve startling fictions have been crafted by a writer with an assured and absolutely original voice and a remarkable understanding of how place is as much a compelling character in a good story as the people who populate it. There are stories here about unrequited love and youthful yearning, the complexities of desire between men, the beginnings and ends of relationships, deaths both inevitable and untimely, the bitter ache of loneliness, the quiet horrors that unexpectedly befall us, and the magic of the ordinary world. With this outstanding collection, Patrick Earl Ryan makes his mark on Southern literature and how."

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