Artists of Utah is excited to announce the winner of this year’s 15 Bytes Book Award for Creative Nonfiction: Rob Carney. The Salt Lake City poet and Utah Valley University professor is the author of eight books of poetry. With Accidental Gardens, published by Stormbird Press, Carney updates the tradition of the Japanese haibun, an essay/poetry hybrid, with his own version of flash essays examining politics, the environment and the craft of poetry.
“Badgers, noxious weeds, English spelling, satellite billboards: all become grist in the mill of Rob Carney’s startling, rapid-fire collection of essays,” write our jurors. “Or are these narratives? Poems? All these forms pack this always inventive collection and Carney swishes through them with ease, like a backcountry skier picking her way through the trees. He puts the ‘creative’ in that catchall genre of creative nonfiction. As Carney notes in one of his first essays, he takes ‘odd details,’ dusts them off and examines them for potential humor, rage and insight. They are frequently topical, but the flash of their insights them an enduring patina.”
Geoff Wichert reviewed the book for these pages here.
Since 2013, Artists of Utah has recognized excellence in publishing with the 15 Bytes Book Awards, awarding prizes in the categories of Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction and Art Book. Books by Utah authors or with a Utah connection are recognized by the awards.
Nominations for the 2023 awards will be accepted beginning Jan. 15, 2023.
UTAH’S ART MAGAZINE SINCE 2001, 15 Bytes is published by Artists of Utah, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.