Suzi Banks Baum wins Honeybee Literature Award for Non-Fiction from The Good Life Review | Books

GREAT BARRINGTON — Author and artist Suzi Banks Baum’s essay, “Connect: Disconnect,” has received the 2022 Honeybee Literature Award for non-fiction.

The prize from The Good Life Review, an online literary journal based in Omaha, Neb., included a certificate and a jar of Nebraska honey. This is Baum’s second writing award. In 2021, his essay, “Shoal”, won third prize in the Hypertext Literary Magazine’s Doro Böhme Memorial Competition. Both are excerpts from his memoirs in progress.

His winning essay, “Connect: Disconnect”, was inspired by the December 2, 2021 New York Times Magazine cover story, “The Abortion I Didn’t Have”, by Merritt Tierce. Baum’s essay, according to a statement, delves into teenage life, sexual exploration, gender identity, confusion, and nurturing or lack thereof in Midwestern American culture in the 1970s still questions very relevant in today’s world.

Honybee non-fiction judge Jessica Hendry Nelson, author of the memoir “If Only You Could Follow Instructions”, wrote of Baum’s essay; “’Connect: Disconnect’ strikes me with its unapologetic exploration of the power and pleasure of female sexuality. With careful attention to language and pacing, he combs through memory to uncover a complex legacy of longing and wonder. This essay does not flinch, capitulate or fade. By tracing her voraciousness, the narrator reminds the reader of the vital power of hers.

The full essay can be read on the Good Life Review website: thegoodlifereview.com/issue-eight/connect-disconnect-by-suzi-banks-baum/.

Baum, who lives in Great Barrington, is a writer, book artist and teacher with a distinctive female-centered focus for her signature teachings. She travels to Gyumri, Armenia, to teach book arts to women artists. In 2013, she published “An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice”, a collection of works by 36 artist mothers. His writing has been published in the literary magazine Kerning (2021), The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory by Anchala Studios and the Walloon Writers Review. His mixed media work appears in Storey Publications’ 2022 release, “Collage Your Life!” by Melanie Mowinski and has been featured in The Guild of Book Workers Journal and Mingle Magazine.

Baum will host an open studio, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Sunday, October 9, at his garage studio, 39 Hollenbeck Ave., Great Barrington. For more information on Baum’s writings and art, visit suzibanksbaum.com

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