by Sue Hann
Special Guest Judge, Angela Morales
“Master of Light” is a luminous essay that weaves together the narrator’s discussion of failed fertility treatment, childhood memories, and descriptions of family as depicted in art. This essay shows us what essay can do; it is a voice sharing thought and experience and at the same time, searching for missing pieces of a puzzle.
Angela Morales, a graduate of the University of Iowa’s nonfiction writing program, is the author of The Girls in My Town, a collection of personal essays. Her work has appeared in Best American Essays 2013, Harvard Review, The Southern Review, The Southwest Review, and other journals. She is the winner of the River Teeth Book Prize, 2014, and has received fellowships from Yaddo and MacDowell Colony. Her book is the 2017 winner of the River Teeth Book Prize and the PEN Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay.
by Tom Wade
From the Special Guest Judge Angela Morales: “This essay explores complex American family history, written with a keen intellectual sensibility, employing historical documents, literature, and the author’s own experience. The narrator digs deep to find the meaning of the one ancestor’s legacy.