On June 28, the High Desert Museum will host the Waterston Desert Writing Prize Ceremony, where the works of one winner and two finalists will be honored. The award recognizes excellence in writing as well as the role deserts play in the ecosystem and the human narrative.
The Waterston Desert Writing Prize is inspired by Bend author and poet Ellen Waterston, who when asked about its focus on non-fiction desert writing says, "It's because of my great affection for (the Central Oregon desert)—all deserts really— and that the conversation about deserts gets more interesting with the changes in the global climate." Her point is illustrated clearly by the winning submission.
Brooklyn-based writer Tara FitzGerald will be awarded the first place prize of $1,500 and a four-week residency at PLAYA, a creative retreat located in Summer Lake, Ore. She will read an excerpt from her submission, "No Water of Their Own," which explores the desertification of Central Asia's Aral Sea and what happens when sea people have to adapt to living on the desert. Finalists Kenneth Garcia and Kimberly Meyers will also be honored for their works, "The House of Radiant Colors: A Memoir" and "Sewage Pilgrimage," respectively.
Now in its second year, the Waterston Desert Writing Prize is already seeing a growth in interest with submissions coming in from all over the world and more than doubling to over 60 this year. Waterston is optimistic about the award's future, saying, "We are hoping to expand it to include other activities in addition to the award in 2017."
Waterston Desert Writing Prize Ceremony
Tuesday, June 28, 6:30 to 8pm, High Desert Museum, 59 S Hwy 97, Bend
Hosted wine bar and hors d'oeuvres