Two creative works by Mark Brazaitis, a professor in the Department of English at West Virginia University, have received recognition in prestigious anthologies of fiction and nonfiction.

Brazaitis’s short story, “The Rink Girl,” was recognized as ‘distinguished’ in “The Best American Short Stories 2015” and his essay, “Locked in to Life,” earned praise as ‘notable’ in “The Best American Essays 2015.”

Both anthologies are published by Mariner Books, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

The anthologies publish twenty of the ‘best’ stories and essays, as selected by a guest editor, and highlight other works.

Creative work published and recognized in each anthology is culled from more than 5,000 pieces that have appeared the previous year in magazines and literary journals such as The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, The Atlantic, Tin House, and the Harvard Review.

“The Rink Girl,” appeared in Ploughshares and, “Locked in to Life,” appeared in The Sun.

“It’s an honor, and I’m grateful,” Brazaitis said. “Then again, as my father might have said, ‘What about Best American Poetry 2015? What happened there?’ I’m joking, of course. It’s always nice to have my work recognized, and, in this instance, it’s neat to have achieved a kind of literary daily double.”

In addition, Brazaitis’s essay, “Pepe and I,” about his friendship with a Cuban singer, received a ‘special mention’ in the “Pushcart Prize XL 2016: Best of the Small Presses” anthology. The essay is available to read online at:

Brazaitis is the author of seven books, including, “The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala,” winner of the 1998 Iowa Short Fiction Award, “The Incurables: Stories,” winner of the 2012 Richard Sullivan Prize and the 2013 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Prose, and, “Julia & Rodrigo,” winner of the 2012 Gival Press Novel Award. His latest book, “Truth Poker: Stories,” won the 2014 Autumn House Press Fiction Competition.



CONTACT: Devon Copeland, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

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