Just as the athletic competition concludes for avid Olympics viewers, a UTC faculty member gives the campus community another international victory to celebrate. Earl Braggs was named one of 14 finalists for the 2008 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry Competition. Braggs is a UC Foundation Professor in the Department of English.
According to Richard Matthews, editor of the Tampa Review, Braggs’ collection of poems “Younger Than Neil” was “a very strong finalist.” Matthews expressed his “thanks for allowing us to consider” the manuscript.
“Younger Than Neil” is a reference to musician and songwriter Neil Young, according to Braggs. “The idea behind the collection is to talk about some of the concerns Neil sings about in his songs,” Braggs said. “In a small way I wanted to pay homage to him because, in my lifetime, he has always been one to confront difficult issues head on.”
Matthews said 400 submissions–book length, previously unpublished manuscripts–were received for this seventh annual contest. They included work from poets in Canada, Australia, Greece, Japan, Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany and the U.S. Twelve of the fourteen finalists were from the United States.
Braggs, who received the M.F.A. from Vermont College of Norwich University, teaches creative writing, poetry, African-American literature, and Russian literature. He has been awarded numerous prizes for poetry and fiction.
The manuscript Braggs submitted to the Tampa Review Poetry Prize Competition is forthcoming from Anhinga Press, Tallahassee, Florida.
“Poems in the collection talk about the Iraq war from a 17-year-old Iraqi girl’s point of view, they talk about living in the settlements in Israel from a 13-year-old girl’s point of view, they speak to the problems of being a young black male in America, they talk about September 11 in mathematical terms, etc.,” Braggs said.