Kevin Honold Wins 2019 River Teeth Book Prize

May 12, 2020

Kevin Honold Wins 2019 River Teeth Book Prize

We are thrilled to announce that Kevin Honold is the winner of this year’s River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize. His winning manuscript, The Rock Cycle, will be published by the University of New Mexico Press in Spring 2021. All entries were screened by the editors and our guest judge, Bret Lott, chose a winner from among the exceptional finalists. River Teeth is grateful to the many writers who submitted their books to this year’s competition and to Bret Lott for the difficult service of choosing among them.

In his note to the editors, Lott called Honold’s The Rock Cycle, “The story of this writer’s search for peace is visually stunning, and sharply felt: he is a soldier in Iraq; he is a Peace Corps worker in Mongolia; he is a refugee from his own life riding a bicycle on long stretches of highway in the American southwest. . . . This is a meaningful and ambitious and deeply thoughtful book about war, about peace, about poverty and provision, the desert and death and life and God and humanity.”

Kevin Honold was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the author of Men as Trees Walking, a book of poems. His poetry and essays have appeared in The Hudson Review, Gettysburg Review, and Antioch Review. He is currently a Special Education teacher at Santa Fe Public Schools in New Mexico and his essay, "Camino de Santiago," will appear in the Spring 2020 issue of River Teeth.

Honold will receive a $1,000 cash prize and The Rock Cycle will be published by the University of New Mexico Press in Spring 2021 as the eighteenth book in the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize series. Past series winners have gone on to win a PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for Art of the Essay, a Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award for Creative Nonfiction, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, a Library Journal prize, a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, and a Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Lesbian Memoir, among many other honors and citations.

A list of past winners can be found on our website and you can find their books on the University of New Mexico Press site and wherever you buy books. Look for our most recent titles, including our 2018 winner, Try to Get Lost: Essays on Travel and Place by Joan Frank, and 2017 winner, I Am a Stranger Here Myself by Debra Gwartney.

Congratulations again to Kevin Honold for The Rock Cycle and to all of the 2019 finalists and semi-finalists:


  • Fleda Brown: Movie of the World 
  • Mary Haug: Out of Loneliness: A Memoir of Murder and Transformation 
  • Lisa Knopp: From Your Friend, Carey Dean: Letters from Nebraska’s Death Row
  • Patrick Mondaca: Adjustment Disorder: A Collection of Maladjusted Essays  


  • Sascha Bercovitch: Futebol or Nada: Coming of Age in a Rio de Janeiro Favela
  • Michael Cohen: Plato's Handbook and Other Essays
  • Rich Furman: Wound Care
  • Scott Gould: Tell Me What You Need to Know
  • Diane Reed: Double Helix
  • Anne Gudger: The Fifth Chamber
  • Phillip Hurst: The Land of Ale and Gloom: Discovering the Pacific Northwest
  • Anne Pinkerton: Were You Close?
  • Stacy Parker Le Melle: Rock and Roll Will Never Die
  • Robert Stothart: Wyoming from the Algonquian

The 2020 River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize will be open for submissions August 1 – October 31, 2020. Megan Stielstra will judge.

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