JEF Books publishes 2019 Kenneth Patchen Award-winning novel!

JEF Books publishes 2019 Kenneth Patchen Award-winning novel!

JEF Books publishes 2019 Kenneth Patchen Award-winning novel!

AURORA, IL—May 13, 2021—The 2019 winner of the Kenneth Patchen Award for the Innovative Novel is

Genelle Chaconas, of Rancho Cordova, California, for their novel Plague City.
This year’s judge, novelist Jane L. Carman, has said the following in her encomium for the novel:

Innovative and engaging from the start Plague City draws the reader in with forms and a genreless narrative presented via reader participation. The prose sometimes reads like a song, sometimes asks questions, and shows you how literature might (must!) move forward in a chaotic world. With space to breathe Genelle Chaconas weaves a collage-style work that asks the reader to return, reread, and reconsider fiction (and reality).

Jane L. Carman is the founder of Lit Fest Press, Festival Writer, and the reading series Festival of Language and a reading eXperiment. She holds a PhD from Illinois State University where she is a former Codirector of the Publications Unit and a Sutherland Fellow. Her book Tangled in Motion was published by Journal of Experimental Fiction Books in 2015 and is in the second edition. Her critical and creative work can be found in Devil’s Lake, Santa Clara Review, American Book Review, elimae, Palooka, Dirty: Dirty (Jaded Ibis Productions), 580-Split, JAC, and many others. She is currently coauthoring a book a suicide stories with Amy L. Eggert.

Plague City 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.
Genelle Chaconas is nonbinary gendered, queer, an abuse survivor, has mood disorders, and feels proud. They earned a BA in Creative Writing from CSUS in 2009, an MFA in Writing & Poetics from Naropa University in 2015, and 50k of debt.

They've been published lots but don't namedrop. Their chapbooks include Fallout Saints and Dirty Pictures (little m press, 2011) and Yet Wave (the Lune, 2017). They serve as head editor for HockSpitSlurp Literary Magazine. They enjoy scifi and gangster flix, drone/noise/industrial music, and long walks off short piers. They live in the greater Sacramento area. This is their first novel.

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:

2018 – Patrick Keller – Those Brave As the Skate Is
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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