Zeeva Bukai, academic support specialist at SUNY Empire State College’s Brooklyn location, has received the 2017 Curt Johnson Prose Award for fiction for her story, “The Abandoning.”
The Johnson awards for fiction and nonfiction are sponsored by the literary magazine december, founded in Iowa City in 1958 by a group of poets, writers and artists who declared, “We are humanists … far more concerned with people than dogmatic critical or aesthetic attitudes.”
december was a pioneer in the “little” magazine and small press movement, publishing cutting-edge fiction, poetry, nonfiction and art.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “A little magazine usually begins with the object of publishing literary work of some artistic merit that is unacceptable to commercial magazines for any one or all of three reasons—the writer is unknown and therefore not a good risk; the work itself is unconventional or experimental in form; or it violates one of several popular notions of moral, social, or aesthetic behavior.”
Bukai was born in Israel and grew up in Brooklyn. She was a fellow at the Center for Fiction in NYC. Her work has appeared, or will appear, in Flash Fiction Magazine, december magazine, Image Journal, WomenArts Quarterly Journal, Calyx, Lilith Magazine, The Jewish Quarterly and elsewhere. Her novel, “The Street of Shoes,” was a finalist in the 2016 novel contest at Autumn House Press.
She holds an MFA from Brooklyn College and has been an academic support specialist with SUNY Empire since 2012.