Page 5 - Marist Magazine Fall 2012

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Tommy Zurhellen
Wins Gold Medal
at Independent
Publisher Awards
A
ssociate Professor of English Tommy
Zurhellen was awarded a gold medal for
his debut novel,
Nazareth, North Dakota
, at the
2012 Independent Publisher Awards (IPPYs) in
New York City.
“I’m thrilled to have my novel recognized
at the IPPY awards this year,” Zurhellen says.
“To me, these awards are so important because
they honor many writers and editors whose
work might fall outside the mainstream. I’m
also happy literary fiction like Nazareth, North
Dakota
still has a sizable audience who enjoy
literature that challenges them a bit.”
Nazareth, North Dakota, published by
Atticus Books, won the “Best Fiction: Midwest”
category for its irreverent retelling of the story
of the young Messiah, set in the lonely prairie
and Badlands of North Dakota starting in
the 1980s. Publishers Weekly said of the book,
“[T]his debut novel reveals the hardscrabble
life of normal, unguided people who put their
last dollars in the jukebox and don’t worry
about what will happen when the song ends…
Zurhellen’s masterful dialogue often makes for
gripping scenes that sustain these characters
for decades.”
Zurhellen has taught creative writing
at Marist since 2004, and his short fiction
and essays have appeared widely in literary
journals including Quarterly West, Carolina
Quarterly
,
and Appalachee Review. His sec-
ond novel, Apostle Islands, was released in
September 2012 fromAtticus Books (www.atti-
cusbooksonline.com) and has already received
critical acclaim, including a starred review from
Publishers Weekly. Zurhellen received his MFA
in fiction from the University of Alabama.
The IPPYs have been held annually since
1996 to recognize the best fiction and nonfic-
tion titles from academic and small presses
around the world.
n
Lecture Highlights Hudson River
Valley’s Links to Ironclad
Monitor
A lecture by David S. Krop (center) of
the Mariners’ Museum in Newport
News, VA, commemorated the 10th
anniversary of the Hudson River Valley
Institute. The executive director of
the institute is Dr. James M. Johnson
(left), the Dr. Frank T. Bumpus Professor
of Hudson River Valley History.
Dr. Thomas Wermuth (right) is the
institute’s director and vice president
of academic affairs and dean of faculty.
The first confrontation between ironclads, the USS
Monitor
(foreground, at left) and the
CSS
Virginia
, formerly the USS
Merrimac
(at right), took place at Hampton Roads, VA, on
March 9, 1862. The building of the
Monitor
was financed by John Flack Winslow, a 19th-century
industrialist who settled at Wood Cliff, a Hudson River estate that is now part of the Marist
College campus.
Courtesy of the Mariners'
Museum,
Newport News,
VA
O
ne hundred and fifty years after
the USS Monitor made military his-
tory in a Civil War naval battle at Hampton
Roads, VA, history buffs gathered at Marist
to learn about the famous ship’s connection
to the Hudson River Valley.
John Flack Winslow was a leading
19th-century industrialist who personally
financed and supervised construction of
the Monitor. The new ship was constructed
of iron and wood and possessed the world’s
first ship-mounted rotating gun turret,
considered one of the greatest technologi-
cal advances in naval history. The Monitor
made history on March 9, 1862, by facing
the ironclad CSS Virginia (the former USS
Merrimac
)
at Hampton Roads. Afterward,
Winslow was deemed the “benefactor of
the nation” and widely heralded for his
vision and foresight. Winslow moved to
Poughkeepsie in 1867 and purchased the
Wood Cliff estate along the Hudson River
on what is now part of the Marist campus.
The Monitor’s link with the Hudson
River Valley was highlighted in a talk
by Monitor
expert David S. Krop titled
“Conserving Ironclad Glory: The Monitor
at 150—Excavating, Conserving, and
Interpreting Winslow’s Legacy” earlier
this year in the Nelly Goletti Theatre.
Descendants of Winslow who live through-
out the Northeast attended the lecture by
Krop, who is the Monitor
conservation
project manager at the Mariners’ Museum
in Newport News, VA.
The talk commemorated the
10th anniversary of the Hudson
River Valley Institute at Marist
College (www.hudsonrivervalley.
org). HRVI is supported by a major
grant from the National Endowment
for the Humanities.
n
Associate Professor of English Tommy Zurhellen
was awarded a gold medal for his debut
novel,
Nazareth, North Dakota
, at the 2012
Independent Publisher Awards in New York City.
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