The Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman
First Book Prize in Photography
A startling, mesmerizing series of photographs of prairie fires, On Fire transports us from moments of almost apocalyptic splendor to the stillness of near abstraction. For over a decade Kansas-based photographer Larry Schwarm has been making extraordinary color photographs of the dramatic prairie fires that sweep across the vast grasslands of his native state each spring. Based on this stunning and extensive body of work, Schwarm was chosen from over 500 submissions as the inaugural winner of the CDS/Honickman Foundation First Book Prize in Photography. With publication of On Fire, Duke University Press, in association with the Center for Documentary Studies and The Honickman Foundation, launches this major biennial book prize for American photographers.
Fire is an essential element of the ecosystem. Every spring, the expanses of tallgrass prairie in the Flint Hills of east-central Kansas undergo controlled burning. For photographer Larry Schwarm, documenting these fires has become a passion. He captures the essence of the fires and their distinct personalities—ranging from calm and lyrical to angry and raging. His photos allow us to see the redemptive power of fire and to remove ourselves from its tragic elements. Through Schwarm’s lens, the horizon takes on new meaning as we view the sublime, mystical, and sensual character of the burning landscape. Schwarm connects the enormous power and devastation of fire to what can only be identified as another kind of creation—the creation of beauty.
Published by Duke University Press in association with Lyndhurst Books of the Center for Documentary Studies
To view images from the book, please visit http://cds.aas.duke.edu/books/fire.html
The Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography is open to American photographers who use their cameras for creative exploration, whether it be of places, people, or communities; of the natural or social world; of beauty at large or the lack of it; of objective or subjective realities. Information and guidelines about the prize are available at http://cds.aas.duke.edu/grants