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January 12, 2018

UM alumna Tina Braziel wins national book contest

University of Montevallo alumna Tina Mozelle Braziel was recently announced as the winner of the 2017 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry book contest by the Fresno State Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing. The contest includes a $2,000 award and publication of Braziel’s debut full-length book, “Known by Salt.” 

Fresno State sponsors the national prize, which honors the late poet and professor emeritus Philip Levine, a founder of Fresno State’s poetry writing program, a 1995 Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry and the 2011 poet laureate of the United States. 

C.G. Hanzlicek, the Levine Prize final judge and award-winning poet and Fresno State professor emeritus, chose Braziel’s manuscript as the winner out of867 submissions, the second-highest number of entries in the contest’s history.  

Braziel grew up on the Coosa River in Pell City, Alabama. She received her bachelor’s from UM in 1995 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Oregon. Her poems have appeared in journals, including The Cincinnati Review, the Southern Humanities Review, the Tampa Review and Appalachian Heritage. Her poetry chapbook, “Rooted by Thirst,” was published in 2016 by Porkbelly Press. 

In 2017, Braziel served as an artist-in-residence at Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, and in 2013 she was awarded a scholarship to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She currently directs the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, an intensive summer program for high school students interested in creative writing as a career or for personal enrichment. 

She and her husband, novelist James Braziel, live and write in a glass cabin that they are building on Hydrangea Ridge in Remlap, Alabama.