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The Second Annual English Department Faculty Awards

May 15, 2006

On May 10, 2006, the Writing and Literature Degree Program presented its annual writing awards to BMCC’s most promising student-writers. This year’s top-prize winners were Laraby Bishop for Creative Writing (memoir) and Michelle Sutherland for Journalism. They each received $1,000. A prize in the amount of $500 went to Mark Janis, for Creative Writing (poetry), and a series of $400 prizes went to Antonia Abramova for Creative Writing (drama); Jennifer Jinks for Academic Writing; and Keri Moore for Academic Writing.

BMCC’s English Department Faculty Awards are borne of a partnership between the English Department and the BMCC Scholarship Fund. Faculty members donate to a departmental fund, which the College then matches dollar for dollar.

The writing awards ceremony came to a close after a special guest reading by Dr. Elizabeth Nunez, CUNY Distinguished Professor. Ms. Nunez shared an excerpt from her latest work, Prospero’s Daughter. In addition to being a novelist, Nunez is presently the English Department Chair at Medgar Evers College, where she designed, developed and implemented many of the school’s first major academic programs. With John Oliver Killens, she has founded the National Black Writers Conference sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities; she was director of the conference from 1986 to 2000. Her novel Beyond the Limbo Silence won a 1999 IPPY Award-Independent Publishers Book Award in the multicultural fiction category. Nunez is co-editor of the collection of essays Defining Ourselves: Black Writers in the 90s, and author of several scholarly articles in professional journals. Nunez currently chairs the PEN American Open Book committee, which focuses on providing access for people of color to various aspects of the publishing industry. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Vera Rubin Residency Fellowship for the Yaddo Artist Colony, the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, the Sojourner Truth Award from the National Association of Black Business and Professional Women's Clubs, and the Carter G. Woodson Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award. Nunez was awarded an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from her alma mater, Marian College, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, for her contributions to the arts and education.

For more about the Writing and Literature Degree Program, visit


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