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Posted: Apr 11, 2013 9:27 AM

Bossier Parish Community College Liberal Arts Instructor Katie Bickham was been awarded The Missouri Review's Jeffrey E. Smith Editor's Prize for poetry. The prize includes $5,000 (the largest dollar amount for poetry prizes in the US), publication of the winning material in the journal, and a trip to Missouri to give a public reading.

Each year, The Missouri Review, the nation's number one literary journal, selects a single winner in the three genres of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. The winners are presented at an awards ceremony at Missouri Country Club in Columbia, Missouri.

One of Bickham's poems is currently featured online at http://www.missourireview.com/archives/katie-bickham-widows-walk-1917/ and the winning work will be printed in Vol 36.1 of The Missouri Review.

When asked what it means to be a recipient of this national poetry prize, Bickham states, "This award has been the greatest affirmation of my writing life. Having The Missouri Review take a chance on a young, unestablished poet like myself really alters the way I look at my future. I'm stepping into the publication world with confidence and a real belief that there are no limitations on the possibilities of poetry in our society."

Several of Bickham's poems will be included in the upcoming publication. All of her poems were taken from a longer series called The Belle Mar. "The Belle Mar is a fictional plantation in South Louisiana, and each poem in the collection takes place in a different room of the house in a different year," says Bickham. "The poems to be printed in TMR are "Dining Room, 1811"; "Kitchen, 1850"; "Master Bedroom, 1859"; "Front Porch, 1900"; "Widow's Walk, 1917"; "Child's Bedroom, 1933"; and "Parlor, 2012".

Bickham has taught English at BPCC for more than two years as an adjunct instructor. In January, she became a full-time instructor.
She holds a bachelor of arts in English and a master of arts in liberal arts from Louisiana State University in Shreveport and is nearing completion of her MFA from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine.

The Missouri Review, founded in 1978, is one of the most highly-regarded literary magazines in the United States and have the reputation for finding and publishing the very best writers first for the past thirty-four years. Based at the University of Missouri and publish four issues each year, each issue contains approximately five new stories, three new poetry features, and two essays, all of which is selected from unsolicited submissions sent from writers throughout the world.

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