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2018 Kenneth Patchen Award winner announced!


Journal of Experimental Fiction announces 2018 Winner of the Kenneth Patchen Award Winner for the Innovative Novel!

AURORA, IL—May 27, 2018—The 2018 winner of the Kenneth Patchen Award for the Innovative Novel is Patrick Keller, of Long Beach, California, for his novel Those Brave As the Skate Is.

This year’s judge, novelist Jønathan Lyons, has said the following in his ecomium for the novel:

“This is a visionary work, one that challenges form and content, destroying both to recreate them in its own vision. Patrick Keller’s breadth of vision is simply astonishing.”
—Jønathan E. Lyons

Those Brave As the Skate Is was chosen as the winner of the Kenneth Patchen Award for the Innovative Novel over many other worthy candidates for the exceptional craft and originality with which it is written as well as for its deep sympathy for the human condition, both qualities epitomized by Kenneth Patchen himself.

Patrick Keller received his Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Irvine, in 2011 for a dissertation about Ronald Sukenick, Raymond Federman, and Steve Katz. Since then, he has been living in Long Beach and teaching at Orange Coast College. His article “Contemporary Surfiction: Wideman, Kaufman, and Maddin” appears in the June 2014 issue of Word and Text.

After a hiatus, THE KENNETH PATCHEN AWARD was revived in 2012. In the 1990s, The Kenneth Patchen Prize for Literature was a much-coveted prize administered by Pig Iron Press of Youngstown, Ohio, in honor of famous experimental fiction author, proletarian poet, and Ohio native Kenneth Patchen. Beginning in 2012, the Award was reinstituted as the Kenneth Patchen Award for the Innovative Novel, and it honors the most innovative novel submitted during the previous calendar year. KENNETH PATCHEN is celebrated for being among the greatest innovators of American fiction, incorporating strategies of concretism, asemic writing, digression, and verbal juxtaposition into his writing long before such strategies were popularized during the height of American postmodernist experimentation in the 1970s. His three great innovative novels, Sleepers Awake, The Memoirs of a Shy Pornographer and The Journal of Albion Moonlight, have long been benchmarks for beats, postmodernists and innovators of all ilks, inspiring younger writers to greater significance and innovation in their own work.

ABOUT JEF: Founded in 1986, The Journal of Experimental Fiction is the English language’s pre-eminent source for innovative fiction. Contact: Eckhard Gerdes, editor & publisher, Site:

2017 – Richard Strauss – The Skrat Prize Memorial Anthology
2016 – Charles Hood – Mouth
2015 – Kate Horsley – Between the Legs
2014 – Bob Sawatzki – Return to Circa ‘96
2013 – Moore Bowen – Oppression for the Heaven of It
2012 – Carolyn Chun – How to Break Article Noun

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