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May 27, 2021

SVSU students win Tyner Prizes for writing excellence

Three SVSU students have been awarded Tyner Prizes for excellence in writing. Tyner Prizes are presented annually in three categories ― fiction, poetry and nonfiction ― with a fourth prize, for creative nonfiction, awarded when appropriate. Each of the 2021 Tyner Prize winners won a monetary award of $200 and a plaque. Their names will also be added to a plaque listing past winners, which is located on the third floor of Science West. 

Jordan Williamson, a Toledo, Ohio, native received the Tyner-Roethke Award in Student Poetry for his collection, “Sad Dracula.” His work was nominated by Arra Ross, professor of English. 

One judge said of Williamson’s work, “This collection struck me as clever and innovative [because of the] author’s play and willingness to take some risks here.” 

Williamson recently graduated with a bachelor’s in creative writing. 

Todd Graham won the Tyner Prize in Fiction for “Straight to my Core,” which was nominated by Professor of English C. Vincent Samarco. “I feel that ‘Straight to My Core’ [is] nuanced in the language and gives me a strong sense of place and character,” said one of the Tyner Awards judges. 

Graham is a psychology and creative writing major from Alpena.   

Gabrielle Krieger, of Saginaw, won the Tyner Prize for Nonfiction for her paper “Sylvia Plath’s ‘Thalidomide’ and Twentieth-Century Attitudes Towards Disability,” which was nominated by Daniel Cook, professor of English. According to one judge, “The writer here has a clear command of the text.”  

Krieger is pursuing a double major in sociology and literature.  

Tyner Prizes recognize the best writing produced in English Department over the previous academic year. Works are submitted anonymously by faculty in the department and are reviewed by a panel of judges.