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English Professor Joni Tevis wins Pushcart Prize

Read more about Dr. Tevis and “What the Body Knows” in Orion

Dr. Joni Tevis
Dr. Joni Tevis

Dr. Joni Tevis, Associate Professor of English at Furman University, has been awarded a Pushcart Prize for her essay, “What the Body Knows,” which was published in the November/December 2013 issue of Orion magazine.

Tevis’ essay appears in the just published 2015 Pushcart Prize XXXIX: Best of the Small Presses. The Pushcart Prize is a major literary award that honors the best poetry, short fiction, essays and other works that appear in small presses during the previous year.  The series has been published every year since 1976.

“What The Body Knows” is about a river rafting trip that Tevis and her husband, David, took through Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the summer of 2009.  With a guide, the two spent two weeks paddling the Canning River 140 miles north to the Arctic Ocean.

“We were above the Arctic Circle in midsummer, so the sun never set the whole time we were there,” Tevis said.  “We saw herds of caribou and muskoxen, lots of interesting lichen species, migratory birds.  It was an amazing time.”

Tevis joined the Furman English faculty in 2008, where she teaches literature and creative writing. Her first collection of essays, The Wet Collection: A Field Guide to Iridescence and Memory, was published in 2007.  A new essay collection, The World Is On Fire, is slated for publication in April 2015 and will include the award-winning “What the Body Knows.”

Tevis’ writing has also appeared in Oxford American, Shenandoah, Conjunctions, AGNI, The Bellingham Review, North Dakota Quarterly and Barrelhouse.  She is a graduate of Florida State University, and holds M.F.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Houston.

For more information, visit the Pushcart Prize website or call Furman’s News and Media Relations office at 864-294-3107.

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