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Of Tolchinsky’s story, “Rising,” Everett wrote, “It’s a beautiful and patiently rendered short story. The story quietly deals with love and the expectations and assumptions that flow from it. a work on trust. It is a strong work with a particularly engaging and refreshing voice. Effectively discreet and at the same time profound.

Everett, who said: “There was no bad story in the lot,” gave strong honorable mention to the story, “Ripples,” by UVA graduate student fiction writer Gahl Pratt -Pardes, who also received the 2021 Sydney Hall Blair Award Creative Writing Program for Teaching Excellence.

In addition, Everett praised the work of two other AVU MFA fiction students: The Acacia Johnson Story, “Guided” and “Primitive Land” by Suzie Eckl.

Tolchinsky, a Poe-Faulkner Poetry Fellow, wrote prose, essays, interviews, and book reviews, as well as poetry. She attended the first conference of AVU President Jim Ryan Arts on the Hill series of virtual videos, reading of a new poem (at 7 minutes) on the coronavirus pandemic.

She completed a short story thesis as part of her BA in English Literature and Italian Studies from Bowdoin College and the University of Bologna, and won several other awards for short stories and poems: first prize at the F Literary Festival Scott Fitzgerald 2020 for “Rates & Vessels” and winner of Lumina’s Spring 2019 Fiction Contest at Sarah Lawrence College for “Teeth”. His poem, “Before dawn, with the beam of the streetlamp in your face,” was a finalist for the 2021 Australian Book Review Peter Porter Award, and another poem, “Some Things You Can’t Understand While Kicking stronger, ”published in The Under Review, was nominated for a Pushcart Award.

These poems describe elements of her boxing training when she lived in New York City a few years ago. She is also writing a manuscript on boxing and her experience with it. For now, however, she has left the ring behind.

“For now, I have moved away from boxing and am involved in ‘softer’ activities like napping, dancing and taking long walks,” she replied via email, adding that she would return to Charlottesville for the next academic year.

In this case, her story, “Rising”, has nothing to do with boxing and features a young couple struggling in the present day (minus the pandemic). Tolchinsky intentionally made the main characters appear eerily similar to the biblical Noah and his wife.


About Christopher Rodgers

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