Devon poet Kephart wins Speakeasy Prize

Posted: September 20, 2005

Writer Beth Kephart, who lives in Devon, has won the Speakeasy Prize for poetry.

Kephart is the author of two memoirs inspired by lessons learned when her son, Jeremy, was diagnosed with pervasive development disorder, which is linked to autism: A Slant of Sun: One Child's Courage, which was a 1998 National Book Award finalist and one of the Salon Best Books of the Year; and Seeing Past Z: Nurturing the Imagination in a Fast-Forward World.

She was a National Endowment for the Arts recipient in 2000; won the Leeway Grant Creative Nonfiction Award in 1998; received a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Top Grant for Fiction in 1997, and a Bread Loaf Merit Scholarship for fiction in 1996.

Her newest work, Ghosts in the Garden: Reflections on Endings, Beginnings, and the Unearthing of Self, published in March, was also a Book Sense pick. It was inspired, Kephart has said, at Chanticleer, the nationally recognized garden in our own Main Line backyard.

Judges for the third annual Speakeasy magazine awards gave the prose prize to Minnesota writer Nick Healy for his short story, "And Other Delights."

Speakeasy is a project of the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, which offers classes, workshops and grants.

Winners, chosen from among 700 entries, will have their work featured in the winter 2005 issue of the magazine and receive a prize of $1,000.

The naked Survivor

Richard Hatch, who won $1 million on the first season of the reality show Survivor, pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges that he failed to pay taxes on his winnings from the CBS show.

On Survivor Hatch, 44, stood out for being a cunning and ruthless competitor who spent much of his time in the nude. He won the show in August 2000; since then, he has appeared on other TV shows, most recently Battle of the Network Reality Stars on the cable TV channel Bravo.

He is charged with tax evasion, filing a false tax return, wire fraud, bank fraud and mail fraud, and was released on $50,000 bond. A judge restricted Hatch's travel to Rhode Island, where he lives, and Houston, where his lawyer's office is located, and ordered him to turn over his passport.

Hatch calls the accusations, which could net him 75 years in jail and millions in fines, "absurd."

The skinny on drugs

* Super-skinny supermodel Kate Moss, 31, acknowledged to the Hennes & Mauritz clothing chain (that's H&M to you) that allegations of her cocaine abuse printed in the tabloid the Daily Mirror are true.

Moss, who is to model an H&M clothing line, apologized for her drug use and promised in writing to abide by a company policy that models be "healthy, wholesome and sound," spokeswoman Liv Asarnoj said. So H&M will keep her on, Asarnoj told the Associated Press.

"We strongly disapprove of her action," Asarnoj said. But, "we are giving her a second chance."

The tabloid printed images from a video that it said showed Moss doing five lines of cocaine in 40 minutes at a late-night music recording session.

Also in court

Moss may be better off than rocker Courtney Love, who has been sentenced in Los Angeles to another six months in a residential drug treatment center.

It was that or jail for Love, who has been in a lock-down substance abuse center since August, when she was convicted in a drug-related incident.

Reuters reports that Love, 41, seemed subdued when she appeared in court Friday, clutching a copy of Bob Dylan's autobiography, Chronicles.

Love, of course, is the widow of Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain, who killed himself in 1994. Their daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, now 13, has been in and out of her mother's custody but talks to her often, said her lawyer, Howard Weitzman.

Team Crowe

What rugby fan wouldn't want to own a team? But who can afford such an extravagance?

Actor Russell Crowe. He is reportedly in negotiations to purchase the South Sydney Rabbitohs of the Australian National Rugby League.

The Sydney club won a long court case to be readmitted to the league in 2002 after being cut from topflight competition following the 1999 season.

Negotiations could continue for at least a month.

"I'd like to buy the club. . . . You're actually talking about rugby league fantasy stuff," Crowe, 41, told the Australian Associated Press. "Yeah, I'd like to be able to have a situation like they do in America - they have individual owners."

Crowe, born in New Zealand and raised in Australia, won an Oscar for his role in 2000's Gladiator (with Joaquin Phoenix and Richard Harris). We loved him in A Beautiful Mind with the beautiful Jennifer Connelly. And we were heartbroken by his torrid affair with Meg Ryan after the two appeared together in 2000's Proof of Life.

Like many a celeb, Crowe has had his run-ins with the law.

He is awaiting trial in the United States on charges that he threw a phone at a New York hotel concierge in June.

If convicted of the assault charge, Crowe could lose his right to work in the United States and face up to seven years in prison, but his lawyers are working for a reduction of the charge.

Meanwhile Crowe is free on his own recognizance.

New zip code

Beverly Hills 90210 grad Tori Spelling has exiled hubby Charlie Shanian to another zip code.

Just goes to show you that lavish and long-lasting might be mutually exclusive. The pair had a pricey wedding July 4, 2004, hosted by Spelling's father, TV mogul Aaron Spelling, at his estate in the ritzy enclave of Holmby Hills.

It was the first marriage for Spelling, 32, and Shanian, 36, an actor and writer; they split in August.

No further details were released and there was no immediate word on if or when a divorce petition would be filed.

Since moving out of 90210, Spelling appeared in director Wes Craven's Scream 2 and Keenen Ivory Wayans' Scary Movie 2 with James Woods. She has two TV movies due out this year: Hush, a thriller from director Harvey Kahn, and The Family Plan, a comedy from writer Richard Gitelson.

Shanian was a semi-regular on ABC's cop show 10-8: Officers on Duty, which lasted 13 episodes in the 2003-04 season.

Rap mag gets in the game

Rap bible XXL Magazine is putting out its first-ever CD.

The hip-hop monthly has struck a deal with independent record label Razor & Tie Entertainment to release XXL Raps, Razor & Tie execs told the New York Daily News.

The compilation album, set for release on Nov. 15, will feature tracks from some of rap's biggest stars, including Eminem, 50 Cent, Trick Daddy, Fabolous, and members of G-Unit and Terror Squad. It will be sold in stores and through direct-response ads on TV.

"It has such good repertoire, and XXL is becoming so prominent in the hip-hop world," said Cliff Chenfeld, co-owner of Razor & Tie.

Contact "Newsmakers" at 215-854-5797 or newsmakers@phillynews.com.

This column contains information from Inquirer wire services.

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