Fleming recognized as finalist for her new book

Winners to be announced March 2 in NYC by Seth Myers

Seth Ho

Dr. Deborah Fleming has been a professor of English at Ashland University for 27 years. She is now among the very few who have been selected as a finalist for the 2020 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the “Art of the Essay.”

The award for the Art of the Essay is a 10-thousand-dollar prize which, according to Pen.org, “honors a writer whose collection of individual essays, published in the current calendar year, is an expansion of their exceptional body of work focusing on the essay as an art form.”

Fleming has been a published author before, writing pieces such as “Into a New Country,” and “Morning, Winter Solstice.” None of the previous stories have received as much attention as her latest award winning novel, titled, “Resurrection of the Wild.”

“I was in disbelief,” Fleming said.

She was in shock when she had been notified that she was one of the finalists for the prestigious award.

Fleming’s novel had to go through the process of being longlisted, and then went on to the semifinals. Now she remains one of the finalists for the award.

“I had first been notified that it had been longlisted by the publisher in the contest, and I did not think there was any chance of becoming a finalist.”

Fleming had also published over 10 titles ranging from poetry-focused pieces to some of her other environmental literature.

“I always thought of myself as a poet and the essays were written. Incidentally, this has certainly gotten the most recognition out of any of the books I have published.”

Fleming had authors to contribute to some of her inspiration for her novel such as: Wendell Berry, John Elder and Scott Russell Sanders.

A lot of Fleming’s essays were geared towards her experiences when she moved to Ashland County. For example, Fleming talks on the first house she had ever bought in Ashland, which she describes as an old mid 1870’s barnhouse.

Fleming also touches on a lot of the historical landmarks that she has lived around.

She lived a couple of miles away from the land that American author Lewis Brumfield had lived. She also was not too far away from where Johnny Appleseed or John Chapman had lived.

Through all of her experiences and changes of scenery, her writing ultimately led her to be recognized nationally.

The winners of this award will be announced March 2 at 8 p.m. at the Town Hall in New York City, which is being hosted by Seth Myers. Fleming will be honored amongst other finalists for her hard work.

You can purchase Dr. Fleming’s book, “The Resurrection of the Wild,” over at the AU bookstore.