Hats Off! to Connie Gunter whose essay "Degrees of Poor" was the 2015 Nonfiction Prize Winner in the Literary Contest sponsored by New Southerner. Connie traveled to Louisville, KY, to give a reading. Her essay also was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. "With grace and affection, the author gives us a moving portrait of her parents and the struggles they went through to provide for their family in a small Appalachian town, where every penny counted," said final judge Richard Goodman. "The writing is lyrical and honest, and the story carries with it a deep resonance, because, even with the profound admiration the writer has for her parents, she does not avert her eyes to the internal conflicts those difficult and humiliating circumstances created."