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Past Winners


Citizen by Claudia Rankine recieved the 2014 Sister Mariella Gable award.  Citizen also was awarded for the Forward Prize in the United Kingdom in 2015.

Claudia Rankine is also the author of Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, Plot, The End of the Alphabet, and Nothing in Nature is Private. In 2014, Rankine was awarded the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize, which is awarded to an American poet of exceptional talent deserving wider recognition. Her work is included in several of the anthologies, such as Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present, Best American Poetry 2001, Giant Step: African American Writing at the Crossroads of the Century, and The Garden Thrives: Twentieth Century African-American Poetry.


Ru Freeman's On Sal Mal Lane was the recipient of the 2013 Sister Mariella Gable award; 2013 was the Centennial Celebration of Sister Mariella Gable.

Born in Sri Lanka, Freeman found inspiration for her work in her family and country's pasts. Her political writing focuses on international humanitarian assistance and workers' rights, while her creative writing has been featured in Guernicaand World Literature Today. Freeman published her first novel, A Disobedient Girl, in 2009; it was long-listed for the DCS Prize for South Asian Literature and translated into several languages. Her newest book, On Sal Mal Lane, uses her characteristic sensory detail, language, and humor to describe the plight of a Sri Lankan community in the five years before the country's civil war.


Deborah Baker's The Convert: A Tale of Exile on Extremism received the 2012 Sister Mariella Gable Prize.

It was a finalist for the 2011 National Book Award in Nonfiction, augmenting the success of her three previous books such as In Extremis: The Life of Laura Riding, which competed for the 1994 Pulitzer Prize in Biography. Baker appeared as part of the Warner Reading Series through a generous grant from the Manitou Fund.


Binyavanga Wainaina's first novel, One Day I Will Write About This Place: A Memoir received the 2011 Sister Mariella Gable Prize.

Wainaina is an author and journalist, a Bard Fellow and the Director of the Chiuna Achebe Center for African Literature and Languages at Bard College. He is from Kenya and lives in New York. He received the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2002, and since then, many writers featured in the East African literary magazine Kwani? that he founded have received the Caine Prize as well. In 2003, the Kenya Publisher's Association presented him with an award for his services to Kenyan Literature.


How to Escape from a Leper Colony by Tiphanie Yanique was the winner of the 2010 Sister Mariella Gable Prize.

Yanique's achievements include the Pushcart Prize, Kore Press Fiction Prize, Academy of American Poets Prize, Fulbright Scholarship in writing, Boston Review Fiction Prize, and 2010 Rona Jaffe Prize in Fiction.


The Art of Syntax by Ellen Bryant Voigt was the 2009 annual Sister Mariella Gable Prize, an award given by the College of Saint Benedict for an important work of literature published by Graywolf Press.


Linda Gregg's All of It Singing: New and Selected Poems was the 2008 winner of the Sister Mariella Gable Prize.

Gregg's honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Foundation Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Whiting Writer's Award, as well as multiple Pushcart Prizes. She was the 2003 winner of the Sara Teasdale Award and the 2006 PEN/Voelcker Award winner for Poetry. She also received the William Carlos Williams Award, which is a prize for a distinguished book of poetry published by a small press, non-profit, or university press.


Duende, by Tracy K. Smith was chosen as 2007 winner of the Sister Mariella Gable Prize.


Trilogy: Variations on the Theme of an African Dictatorship which includes the books, Sweet and Sour Milk, Sardines, and Close Sesame by Nuruddin Farah was chosen as the 2006 winner of the sixth annual Sister Mariella Gable Prize. Read an excerpt from Close Sesame.


Collected Poems of Jane Kenyon by Jane Kenyon was chosen as the 2005 winner of the Sister Mariella Gable Prize.


The Weatherman by Clint McCown was the 2004 winner of the Sister Mariella Gable Prize. The Weatherman was a Graywolf Press new release. Read an excerpt.


One Vacant Chair by Joe Coomer was chosen as the winner of the third annual Sister Mariella Gable Prize. One Vacant Chair was a Graywolf Press new release. Read an excerpt.


The 2002 winner of the Sister Mariella Gable Prize was Judith Kitchen's novel The House on Eccles Road, published by Graywolf Press in fall 2002. Read an excerpt.


The 2001 winner of the Sister Mariella Gable Prize was the novel Loverboy, by Victoria Redel. It was published by Graywolf Press in spring 2001. Loverboy was recently made into a movie. Read an excerpt.