Sarah Capdeville Wins River Teeth's 2022 Literary Nonfiction Book Prize

By Jill Christman

April 14, 2023

Sarah Capdeville Wins River Teeth's 2022 Literary Nonfiction Book Prize

We are delighted to announce that Sarah Capdeville has won the 2022 River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize. Her manuscript, Aligning the Glacier's Ghost, will be published by the University of New Mexico Press in spring 2024. Capdeville will also receive a $1,000 honorarium. All entries were screened by the editors and our guest judge, Natasha Trethewey, chose a winner from among the finalists. All of us at River Teeth is grateful to the many writers who submitted their books to the competition this year and to Natasha Trethewey for sharing her time and expertise to choose the winning manuscript and runner-up.

About Capdeville's book-to-be, Trethewey writes:

“Sarah Capdeville’s Aligning the Glacier’s Ghost is an evocative, lush, and wide-ranging meditation set against the map of a vividly seen and felt physical landscape. The essays in this gorgeous collection weave a story of geographies—emotional, linguistic, cultural, and intellectual—undergirded by a voice so compelling I could not put it down. Throughout, Capdeville’s palpable love for and knowledge of the natural world, the musicality of her prose, guides us through an ecosystem of being: the nature of home, identity, illness, and longing. Aligning the Glacier’s Ghost is a remarkable debut."

For five seasons, Sarah Capdeville proudly wore the title of wilderness ranger in three wilderness areas of Western Montana, and is currently part of the editorial teams of The Hopper and The Changing Times, as well as a board member of the Freeflow Foundation. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA, and graduated from the University of Montana with a BS in Resource Conservation and a BA in Spanish. Her writing has been published in Orion, Fourth Genre, The Normal School, Flyway, and others. She has been a Pushcart nominee as well as a finalist for the Montana Prize in Nonfiction. She lives in Missoula, Montana, with her partner, retired greyhound, and opinionated tortoiseshell cat, where she navigates chronic illness, goes on many slow hikes, and daydreams about the crosscut saw.

We would also like to extend our warmest congratulations to Kim McLarin, our 2022 River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize runner up, and to all the finalists and semifinalists: 


Sarah Capdeville: Aligning the Glacier's Ghost


Kim McLarin: Everyday Something Has Tried to Kill Me


Finalists (in alphabetical order)

Sean Enfield: Holy American Burnout: Essays
Quitman Marshall: Swampitude: Escapes with the Congaree
Anne Panning: Walking Backwards
Laurie Uttich: Crazy Talk

Semifinalists (in alphabetical order)

Anne Gudger: Where I'll Find You
Jessica Johnson: Homemaker
Wendy Johnson: The Ecology Cure
Mary Jumbelic: Here, Where Death Delights
Paula Delgado-Kling: LEONOR: The Story of a Lost Childhood
Susan Ross: A Certain Flatness of Light
Emily Shoff: The Trail Home

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 the 2021 winner Robert Lunday's Disequilibria, and for the Dr. Walter M. Robinson's collection What Cannot Be Undone.

The 2023 River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize will be open for submissions August 1 – October 31, 2022. Award-winning memoirist and essayist Lacy M. Johnson will serve as our final judge. We look forward to reading your manuscript!

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