Fred Leebron, Cohen Award

by Don Lee

Cohen Awards Each year, we honor the best poem, short story, and essay published in Ploughshares with the Cohen Awards, which are wholly sponsored by our longtime patrons Denise and Mel Cohen.Finalists are nominated by staff editors, and the winners are selected by our advisory editors. This year, we combined the fiction and nonfiction categories, since only one essay was printed in 1993; each winner receives a cash prize of $600. The 1994 Cohen Awards for work published in Ploughshares Vol. 19 go to:

Fred G. Leebron for his story " Lovelock" in Fall 1993, edited by Sue Miller.

Fred Leebron was born outside Philadelphia in 1961, grew up in Narberth, Pennsylvania, and attended a Quaker school in Germantown. As the youngest of five children, he was drawn to writing as "the best chance to get all the words out before anyone interrupted." He was once a program vendor for the Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles, and for six months he worked in the locked unit of the Philadelphia Psychiatric Center. He received a B.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, an M.A. from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, and an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Gettysburg Review, Grand Street, The North American Review, The Quarterly, The Threepenny Review, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere. His work has also been anthologized in The New Generation and Flash Fiction, and he is the co-author of Creating Fiction: A Writer's Companion, due out from Harcourt Brace in 1995. Awards for his writing include a Fulbright Scholarship, a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Literature Fellowship, a Henfield Foundation Transatlantic Review Award, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, a James Michener Award, and a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Until recently, he taught writing at the University of San Francisco and served as a strategic planning and development consultant for nonprofit organizations. He now lives with his wife and two-year-old daughter in Provincetown, where he is Acting Executive Director of the Fine Arts Work Center.

Leebron explains that the inspiration for "Lovelock," which will be reprinted in Voices of the Exiled, a Doubleday anthology, "comes from a brief encounter I had in New Orleans in 1985 and an overnight stay I made in Nevada four years later. A number of weekends from high school spent at Atlantic City roulette tables also played a role. I began writing a novel that contains 'Lovelock' as a chapter in the spring of 1992, during a daily train commute between San Francisco and Hayward."

Copyright © Don Lee

Fall 1994 Cover
Cover art by Charles Wiese
Intimate Exile
  Out of Print

Guest-edited by:
Rosellen Brown
Photo by Charles Wiese
Rosellen Brown