From Our Staff | September 29, 2008

Our 1998 Jeffrey E. Smith Editor’s Prize winner was Alice Fulton, a widely published author with one book of fiction and several books of poetry to her credit.  Her story, “Happy Dust,” is set in the early twentieth century on a farm governed by Mamie, a pregnant mother of four who is suffering from tuberculosis.  She faces the prospect of orphaning her children, of delivering a child who will die during labor, or of delivering a child who will live briefly and miserably.   In her desperation she seeks out miracle cures; she makes a pilgrimage to holy ground and prays that the baby not be a “blue baby or an idiot,” that it be born “modern, a twentieth-century child, with no muck or mire, no caul or purple mother’s marks upon it.”  Armed with her prayer and Indian Perfection Medicine that she received from a nun, she faces her labor with mettle and grit.  Read more at