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OSU professor wins Bram Stoker Award

By day, Lucy Snyder is a technology support specialist at Ohio State. By night, she is as an award-winning poet.

Snyder’s poetry collection, “Chimeric Machines,” was awarded the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Poetry. The awards were announced in Brighton, U.K. on March 27.

Snyder and her husband, who could not attend the ceremony, found out about her win via Twitter feed.

“I was so excited. We were waiting to see what would happen, and when we found out I won, we jumped up and gave each other a high five,” Snyder said.

“Chimeric Machines” is a collection of 36 poems divided into seven sections.

“Snyder’s work is complex yet grounded. You can read it on several levels, and it’ll work on each and every one,” Tom Piccirilli wrote in his introduction to the book. “It’s lyrical but rooted in authenticity and validity.”

Snyder said the collection is inspired by many topics and times in her life, but at its core, it is about life, both in general and in regard to specific individuals.

“The title is a metaphor for our lives. Chimeric means wildly fanciful or a supernatural agency, and a lot of things that mean the most to us are not specifically tangible, they are more in our heads,” Snyder said. “Machines is a reference to bodies that are restrained by each other’s motions, like interpersonal relationships.”

Snyder said she has been writing since high school and was inspired to write science fiction and horror after reading books in those genres, such as “A Wrinkle in Time” and “The Chronicles of Narnia.”

“I thought if I could grow up and write stories that made other people feel the way these books made me feel, then that would have to be the best job in the world,” she said.

The Bram Stoker Award is given out in eight categories by the Horror Writers Association each year to recognize “superior achievement” in writing, according to its Web site.

“There were three other works in that category this year, but obviously [the Horror Writers Association’s] voters felt that ‘Chimeric Machines’ was a superior work,” said Lisa Morton from the Horror Writers Association. “Interestingly, Lucy was the only nominee in this category this year who was not a previous winner.”

Snyder is also the author of the novels “Spellbent” and “Shotgun Sorceress,” the poetry collections “Sparks and Shadows” and “Installing Linux on a Dead Badger,” and numerous other short stories, poems and essays. She also mentors students in Seton Hill’s Master of Fine Arts program in writing popular fiction.

Her advice to students and anyone else aspiring to become a published writer is to “read as much as possible, write as much as possible, and stick with it,” she said. “The people who made it are the people who really stuck with it.” 

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