“Let Us Now Praise Famous Names,” Nonfiction Award, 2016. Published in The Hilltop Review, Spring 2016.  One of my creative interests is social satire; this essay explores the growing trend among writers to name their children after literary figures, and predicts an entire generation possessing absurd and foreboding monikers. Judge Robin Hemley said this about it:
“This clever piece has an energy and whimsy of a stand-up routine, which might sound like faint praise, but I see it as an achievement.  The narrator is mischievous and irreverent in the manner of the best comic art, pointing out the herd mentality when it comes to choosing names and the desire of parents to brand their children with the kind of name that will ensure literary or other greatness.  The desire to be unique makes us all the same, the writer cleverly argues, in the way that in Monty Python’s ‘The Life of Brian,’ Brian, standing on his balcony naked before the multitudes exhorts them, ‘You’re all individuals,’ and they repeat, ‘We’re all individuals.’  Then one meek voice pipes up, ‘I’m not.'”