2023 Virginia Literary Awards Finalists

The Virginia Literary Awards are given to outstanding Virginia authors in the areas of fiction, nonfiction and poetry (and, in the case of nonfiction, also by any author about a Virginia subject).

Portraits of the fiction finalists


BILL GLOSE | All the Ruined Men: Stories

Bill Glose is a combat veteran and former paratrooper. Now he leads a peaceful life and reflects upon his earlier experiences. He is the author of five books of poetry, one book of fiction and hundreds of stories, poems, essays and articles, which have appeared in numerous publications. His honors include the F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Award, the Robert Bausch Fiction Award and the Dateline Award for Excellence in Journalism.

BRUCE HOLSINGER | The Displacements

Bruce Holsinger is a novelist and literary scholar who teaches at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He's the author of many nonfiction books as well as four novels, most recently The Displacements. His essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Slate, The New York Review of Books and many other publications. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a past winner of the Colorado Book Award for The Gifted School.


Barbara Kingsolver is the author of Demon Copperhead, a contemporary retelling of David Copperfield set in Appalachia at the onset of the opioid epidemic, which received the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Named one of the top 10 books of the year by the New York Times and the Washington Post, it has spent over 27 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. The author of 10 bestselling works of fiction as well as books of poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction, Kingsolver has earned a devoted readership at home and abroad. Her literary awards include the National Humanities Medal, our country's highest honor for service through the arts, as well as the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for the body of her work. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.

Portraits of the nonfiction finalists


MARGARET EDDS | What the Eyes Can't See: Ralph Northam, Black Resolve, and a Racial Reckoning in Virginia

Margaret Edds is a former reporter and editorial writer for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot. She is the author of several books, including We Face the Dawn: Oliver Hill, Spottswood Robinson, and the Legal Team That Dismantled Jim Crow; Finding Sara: A Daughter's Journey; and An Expendable Man: The Near-Execution of Earl Washington Jr.

JONATHAN M. KATZ | Gangsters of Capitalism: Smedley Butler, the Marines, and the Making and Breaking of America's Empire

Jonathan Myerson Katz received the James Foley Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism for reporting from Haiti. His first book, The Big Truck That Went By, was shortlisted for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction and won the Overseas Press Club's Cornelius Ryan Award, the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award and the WOLA/Duke Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America. His work appears in the New York Times, Foreign Policy and elsewhere. Katz has received fellowships from New America and the Logan Nonfiction Program. He lives with his wife and daughter in Charlottesville, Virginia.

BETH MACY | Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America's Overdose Crisis

Beth Macy is a Virginia-based journalist, the author of Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America, and an executive producer and cowriter on Hulu's Peabody Award-winning Dopesick TV series.

Portraits of the poetry finalists



Laura Bylenok is the author of three books, including Living Room, winner of the Backwaters Prize in Poetry, Warp, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize, and a/0. Her poetry has appeared in Crazyhorse, Guernica, Ninth Letter, Arts & Letters, DIAGRAM and other journals. She teaches creative writing at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.


Melanie McCabe is the author of The Night Divers, as well as two earlier books of poetry: What the Neighbors Know and History of the Body. Her memoir, His Other Life: Searching for My Father, His First Wife, and Tennessee Williams, won the 2016 University of New Orleans Press Publishing Laboratory Prize and was featured in the Washington Post. She taught high school English and creative writing in Arlington, Virginia, for more than 20 years. She is a lifelong Virginian.

GREGORY ORR Selected Books of the Beloved

Gregory Orr is the author of 13 collections of poetry, including Selected Books of the Beloved and The Last Love Poem I Will Ever Write. His prose books include A Primer for Poets and Readers of Poetry, Poetry as Survival and a memoir, The Blessing. At the 2018 Dodge Poetry Festival, he premiered a 50-minute song/poem cycle, "The Beloved," with the musical artists the Parkington Sisters. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Virginia, Orr was the founder and first director of its MFA program in writing. He lives with his wife, the painter Trisha Orr, in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The finalists for this year's People's Choice Awards can be found here.

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