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English professor wins Juniper Prize for Fiction

 MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Associate Professor of English Glenn Taylor has received the Juniper Prize for Fiction from the University of Massachusetts Press for his upcoming novel, The Songs of Betty Baach. glenn taylor

“Publication awards in creative writing, whether they be in fiction, non-fiction or poetry, are incredibly competitive. The prestigious Juniper Prize in fiction is a testament to Professor Taylor’s skill as an author and we are awaiting eagerly the publication of his book,” said Brian Ballentine, professor & chair of the English Department. “Our MFA program here in the Department of English is successful because of professors like him.”

The Songs of Betty Baach is a tale of survival and retribution across three centuries told by Betty Baach, a woman who claims to be 321 old. She comes from the year 2038, after humanity has been impacted by hard times and severe weather, and she sings stories of nature, people and society the way it once was.

The Juniper Literary Prize Series is named after Fort Juniper, a house built in western Massachusetts by poet Robert Francis. Each year, the Juniper Prize for Fiction is awarded to one short story collection and one novel. The University of Massachusetts Press publishes the winning manuscripts and the authors receive a $1,000 award upon publication.

Taylor teaches in the English Dept.’s MFA program and is also the author of A Hanging at Cinder Bottom (Tin House, 2015) and The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart (Ecco, 2009), which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award. His work has appeared in such venues as the  Oxford AmericanThe GuardianGulf Coast, and  Huizache.