Dr. Bar-Nadav wins Sunken Garden Chapbook Prize

Jeston Dulin

UMKC’s English department was recently honored when one of its faculty won a prestigious award. Dr. Hadara Bar-Nadav of UMKC’s English department was awardedthe Sunken Garden Chapbook Prize for 2015. Dr. Bar-Nadav, an associate professor in the English department, achieved critical acclaim with the prize, which resulted in the publishing of her book of poems, “Fountain and Furnace.”

Dr. Bar-Nadav’s achievement shines a spotlight on UMKC and the larger Kansas City area’s growing literary. The award has been judged in the past by renowned poets such as Tony Hoagland, Martha Collins, Patricia Smith, and Mark Doty. That a faculty member in the English department was recognized as a part of the larger culture of poetry in the United States and beyond is a major achievement.

While this isn’t her first publication, it nonetheless strikes a chord in the literary community, and in the author herself.

“There is a wonderful and vast literary community out there, which I am very glad to participate in, but when you are sitting down to write, it’s just you and your pen and paper; you never quite know how your work is going to be received,” Dr. Bar-Nadav said. “So this award, which included publication of my manuscript Fountain and Furnace, is truly heartening.”

Dr. Bar-Nadav, who wrote the collection while pregnant, feels a special attachment to “Fountain and Furnace.”

“It’s particularly special to me that the very first time I sent out this manuscript, it won a major award. I have my son to thank,” she said.

Dr. Bar-Nadav also acknowledges the effect this has on the literary community of UMKC.

“It is also great press for the English Department and the University,” Dr. Bar-Nadav said. “It lets the university community, the public, and potential students interested in studying here know that the faculty at UMKC are successful and active in their fields, which is especially true for the English Department.”

Dr. Bar-Nadav is among the numerous other prolific authors and poets inthe English department. Many of the creative writing faculty have had their works published, and acknowledged, in a variety of critical and popular publications. That Bar-Nadav’s work was acknowledged by this prestigious award places more attention on the creative renaissance happening in Kansas City.
Among other writing resources offered in Kansas City are the Writers Place, where readings and write-ins are an everyday event, and Rainy Day Books, an independent bookstore that brings in notable writers every year. UMKC’s English department is just one piece of the growing literary scene that is Kansas City.