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JEF Books publishes 2018 Kenneth Patchen Award-winning novel!


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

AURORA, IL—January 6, 2021—JEF Books has published the 2018 winner of the Kenneth Patchen Award for the Innovative Novel, Those Brave As the Skate Is by Patrick Keller, of Long Beach, California.

The contest judge, the late novelist and great friend of JEF Books Jønathan Lyons, said the following in his encomium 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.”

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 grew up in Claremont, California.  At UC Berkeley, he chose Psychology as a second major to accompany English, mistakenly assuming that it would be the secret weapon for writing novels.  At UC Irvine, his grad school mentor gave him a Steve Katz book as a curio, mistakenly assuming that he wouldn’t scrap his previous research plans and write his dissertation on this type of freewheeling mixture of autobiography and fiction.  In 2010, after reading too many books and interviews with Raymond Federman and Ronald Sukenick, he created Pescetarealism, an attempt to extend their egalitarian ideals to something more about persistence than performance.  He received his Ph.D in English for “Subversively Personal: Surfiction As Communication in Vietnam War Era America” in 2011.  His scholarly article “Contemporary Surfiction: Wideman, Kaufman, and Maddin” appeared in the June 2014 issue of Word and Text.  He teaches in Orange County and lives with his wife in Long Beach, California.

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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