Home
Richard J Margolis Award

About Richard J. Margolis

Career Highlights

selected articles

Selected New Leader Columns

Reports & Monographs

Op-Ed Pieces & Book Reviews

 

Past Winners

2016
David Denver Robinson

 

2015
Daniel Hernandez

 

2014
Blaire Briody

 

2013
Patrick Arden

 

2012
Inara Verzemnieks

 

2011
Sabine Heinlein

 

2010
Doug Hunt

 

2009
Joe Wilkins

 

2008
Gabriel Thompson

 

2007
Stephanie Griest

 

2006
Marie myung-ok lee

 

2005
Kisha Lewellyn

 

2004
Nelson smith

 

2003
John Bowe

 

2002
Iyesatta Massaquoi

 

2001
Otis Haschemeyer

 

2000
Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

 

1999
Susan Parker

 

1998
Laura Distelheim

 

1997
Julie Lasky

 

1996
E.J. Graff

 

1995
Josip Novakovich

 

1994
Maggie Dubris

 

1993
Judith Levine

 

1992
Richard Manning

 

Kisha Lewellyn

Kisha recently finished a Masters degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Montana, where she completed a series of essays titled, Voices Hinged: A Triptych of Reflections on Farming and Ranching in the Bitterroot Valley. As a writer, she has focused on the "liminal space" between humanity and the ecology in various forms, including the ability of a piece of obsidian to conjure memories of the death of a loved one, and the tangible relationship between farmers and ranchers and working landscapes. She writes: "I am always interested in the quieter voices that do not bustle for attention or shove their way to the top of the News Hour -- voices that speak softly over cups of coffee and mingle with a backdrop of crows and tractors. I am drawn to these softer voices and daily moments because they offer touchstones of human hope and fallibility."

"The everyday moment also offers an entryway into a person's life, incrementally revealing stories of powerful change. My essays on farming and ranching intentionally hone in on these voices, which have been neglected and silenced by lengthening chains of distribution, consumption and ignorance. In doing so, I hope to enliven the work and life of the daily farmer and rancher in order to reconnect eaters with growers and the land, and to shift the common perception of what it means to farm into a living, viable, connected part of our culture. As we recognize these relationships and the inherent economic, ecological and social costs of our food purchases on farmers, ranchers and working lands, we will be able to re-imagine the systems of food production and distribution, systems that we rely on for every other aspect of our lives."

Kisha is presently developing an essay on the rising number of female farmers in the United States and the historical role of women in farming. "To do so," she writes,  "I hope to parallel the stories of a woman currently farming in western Montana and my great-grandmother, who owned and managed a North Carolina tobacco farm." She is also working on a collection of lyric essays and plan to teach a course called, "From Working Land -- The Literature of Agriculture."