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2013 Contest Judges

Mark Doty


Mark Doty's eight books of poems include Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, which won the National Book Award in 2008. His work has been honored by the National Book Critics Circle Award and the T. S. Eliot Prize. He's also the author of five books of nonfiction prose, most recently The Art of Description (Graywolf, 2010), a handbook for writers. He teaches at Rutgers University and lives in New York City. www.markdoty.org 

Mary Roach


Mary Roach is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void; Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers; and Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. Packing for Mars is a New York Times Editor's Choice and was chosen as San Francisco 2011 One City, One Book selection. Stiff has been translated into 17 languages, and Bonk was chosen as a 2008 best book by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Boston Globe. Mary has written for National Geographic, Wired, New Scientist, The New York Times Book Review, the Journal of Clinical Anatomy, and Outside, among others. She is a member of Mars Institute's Advisory Board, a guest editor of the Best American Science and Nature Writing, and a winner of the American Engineering Societies' Engineering Journalism Award, in a category for which, let's be honest, she was the sole entrant. www.maryroach.net 



Jane Smiley was born in Los Angeles, California, moved to the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri as an infant, and lived there through grammar Jane Smileyschool and high school (The John Burroughs School). After getting her BA at Vassar College in 1971, she traveled in Europe for a year, working on an archeological dig and sightseeing, and then returned to Iowa for graduate school at the University of Iowa. MFA and PhD in hand, she went to work in 1981 at Iowa State University, in Ames, where she taught until 1996. Jane is the author of numerous novels including The Age of Grief, The Greenlanders, Ordinary Love and Good Will, A Thousand Acres, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992, Moo, Horse Heaven, Good Faith, Ten Days in the Hills, and the young adult novel, The Georges and the Jewels, as well as many essays for such magazines as Vogue, The New Yorker, Practical Horseman, Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, Allure, The Nation and others. She has written on politics, farming, horse training, child-rearing, literature, impulse buying, getting dressed, Barbie, marriage, and many other topics. She is also the author of the nonfiction books A Year at the Races, Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel and from Penguin Lives Series, a biography of Charles Dickens. In 2001, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in 2006, she received the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. http://www.therealjanesmiley.com 

Photo Credits:
Mark Doty: Photo by Starr Black
Mary Roach: Photo by David Paul Morris
Jane Smiley: Photo by Mike Bennington