Eliud Martínez Prize – 2022 Winner

Rene Solivan, for Search Party

René Solivan’s [December 15,1962 – July 13, 2023] fiction, poetry, drama and non-fiction have been published in magazines, literary journals and anthologies.  Solivan is the winner of the Northridge Review Fiction Award, MetLife National Playwriting Award, and a Latino Theatre Initiative Emerging Artist Commission from the Mark Taper Forum (1977 Tony Award, Outstanding Regional Theatre) where Solivan was a playwriting fellow. The Taper produced a workshop of Solivan’s play Miss Lebron and Her Escorts which was then developed at Off-Broadway’s Obie award-winning Spanish Repertory Theatre starring NCIS star Cote de Pablo in the title role.  René was nominated by Seattle Repertory Theatre (1990 Tony Award, Outstanding Regional Theatre) for the Mentor Project at the Cherry Lane Theatre in NYC.  Solivan’s play Gods & Thieves was presented at Geva Theatre; other plays have been seen on both coasts including his first play Madre which had its world premiere at Theatre/Theater in Hollywood where the Los Angeles Times hailed it as “an absorbing, compelling tour-de-force.”

Judge Isabel Quintero writes, “This book is so sad and I love it. In what seems to be an homage or at least nod to Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, we meet a family who is holding on to each other by a thread but mostly by blood. A family who seems to revolve or at least continue to get pulled back into a chaotic and painful orbit around their mother; a woman who never wanted a family and is always leaving them. It asks the question, “What happens when women don’t want a family but are forced to have one?” The answer, if the book offers any, is uncomfortable and multilayered. I love how Luis is able to speak with ghosts and there is no doubt about it and it’s not a big deal, this type of communication is simply accepted as part of the world. No one is perfect in Search Party, and no one thinks they are. This book delves into the toxicity that we often accept in familial structures and what can happen to us when we accept that as truth.”