In his latest book, “The Incurables,” West Virginia University professor Mark Brazaitis tackles the oppressive horror of mental illness and the complexities of romantic and familial love affecting the residents of a small Ohio town.

The collection of short stories has landed Brazaitis on the list of finalists for the ForeWord Reviews’ 2012 Book of the Year Award.

Gold, silver, and bronze awards, as well as editor’s choice prizes for fiction and nonfiction, will be announced June 28 at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago. The winners of the two editor’s choice prizes will be awarded $1,500 each.

“I’m honored to have ‘The Incurables’ recognized as one of the best short-story collections of 2012,” Brazaitis said. “It’s especially nice to think this recognition might give my book more readers and increase awareness of mental illness. Ultimately, I hope the book will show that people suffering from mental illnesses deserve our compassion, not our scorn and ignorance.”

ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year Awards program highlights the year’s most distinguished books from independent publishers.

Brazaitis, who directs the WVU creative writing program, has been invited to give readings from “The Incurables” at the University of Notre Dame, Austin College and Slippery Rock University. In December, he was a featured guest on the National Public Radio program The Diane Rehm Show where he discussed “The Incurables” and the collection’s themes. Recently, he was a guest on “Around Noon” on WCPN in Cleveland, Ohio.

ForeWord Reviews is a quarterly print journal dedicated to reviewing independently published books. It was established in 1998 to provide booksellers, librarians, agents, and publishing professionals with reviews of the best titles from small, alternative, and academic presses.

Brazaitis is the author of four books of fiction, including “The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala,” winner of the 1998 Iowa Short Fiction Award. His book of poems, “The Other Language,” won the 2008 ABZ Poetry Prize.
His next novel, “Julia & Rodrigo,” is set for a November release from Gival Press.

A former Peace Corps volunteer, Brazaitis received his master’s degree at Bowling Green State University and specializes in fiction, poetry and nonfiction.

For more information, contact Mark Brazaitis, at 304-293-9707 or



CONTACT: Devon Copeland, Interim Director of Marketing and Communication

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.