Photo historian, professor and curator Deborah Willis will be the judge for this year’s CDS/Honickman First Book Prize, sponsored by The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University and The Honickman Foundation. The winning photographer will receive a $3,000 grant and publication of a book of photographs, an exhibition at the Rubenstein Library Gallery at Duke University and inclusion in a Web site devoted to past winners of the award. American and Canadian photographers who have never published a book-length work before are eligible to enter. Applications will be accepted from June 15 through September 15.

Submissions to the First Book Prize are first screened by a committee lead this year by Kimerly Rorshach, director of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke. According to the FAQs on the First Book Prize Web site, the focus of the competition is on “the breadth and nuance of the body of photographs as an extended narrative and meditation.” The committee’s selection is then turned over to this year’s judge.

Willis is on the faculty of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and has published such books as Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers, 1840 to the Present; Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present; The Black Female Body in Photography; and Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs. Previous judges for the First Book Prize include photographers Robert Frank, William Eggleston and Mary Ellen Mark.

Past winners of the prize have included Benjamin Lowy, Jennette Williams, Danny Wilcox Frazier, and Larry Schwarm.

Guidelines for entries can be found at the First Book Prize web site.


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