2018 First Place Winner: “To The Butcher's Son” — Karen Harryman
Karen Harryman’s work has appeared in Narrative, The Greensboro Review, Carolina Quarterly, Dogwood, Raleigh Review, Forklift, Alaska Quarterly, Verse Daily, North American Review and The Cortland Review among others. She is the recipient of the 2019 Rumi Prize sponsored by Arts & Letters and the 2018 James Hearst Poetry Prize sponsored by North American Review. Her first book, Auto Mechanic’s Daughter, was selected by Chris Abani in 2007 for the Black Goat Poetry Series Imprint at Akashic Books in Brooklyn. She lives with her family in Los Angeles.
Contest Judge: Eduardo C. Corral
Eduardo C. Corral is the son of Mexican immigrants. Graywolf Press published his second book, Guillotine, in 2020. His first book, Slow Lightning, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. His poems have appeared in Ambit, New England Review, The New Republic, Ploughshares, and Poetry. He's the recipient of residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo and Civitella Ranieri. He's also the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Hodder Fellowship and the National Holmes Poetry Prize, both from Princeton University. He teaches in the MFA program in Creative Writing at North Carolina State University and lives in Raleigh.
2017 First Place Winner: “Black Boy” — Jordan Franklin
Jordan E. Franklin is a Black poet from Brooklyn, NY. A Brooklyn College alum, she received her MFA from Stony Brook Southampton where she served as a Turner Fellow. Her work has appeared in the Southampton Review, Breadcrumbs Magazine, Frontier, [PANK], and elsewhere. She was a finalist of the 2019 Nightjar Poetry Contest and the 2019 Furious Flower Poetry Prize. Her debut poetry collection, when the signals come home, was selected by Prageeta Sharma as the winner of the 2020 Gatewood Prize and will be published by Switchback Books in March 2021; her first poetry chapbook, boys in the electric age, will be published by Tolsun Books in August 2021.
Contest Judge: Major Jackson
Major Jackson is the author of five books of poetry, including The Absurd Man (2020), Roll Deep (2015), Holding Company (2010), Hoops (2006) and Leaving Saturn (2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems. He is also the author of A Beat Beyond: The Selected Prose of Major Jackson edited by Amor Kohli. A recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Major Jackson has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee where he is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University and serves as the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review.
2016 First Place Winner: “Iconostasis” — Rebecca Foust
Rebecca grew up in rust belt Pennsylvania, a paradoxical place of farmlands and factories, mountains and strip mines. After several decades in Northern California spent raising children and advocating for students with learning challenges, she left law to pursue writing, earning an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson in 2010. Rebecca has published seven books, including ONLY, The Unexploded Ordnance Bin, and Paradise Drive. Her work included teaching, most recently for the 2020 Frost Place Poetry Seminar. She continues to edit poetry for Women's Voices for Change, writing a weekly column that emphasizes diversity and the poetry of women over 40.
Contest Judge: Jane Hirshfield
Award-winning poet, essayist, and translator Jane Hirshfield is the author of nine collections of poetry, including Ledger (2020); The Beauty (2015), longlisted for the National Book Award; Come, Thief (2011), a finalist for the PEN USA Poetry Award; and Given Sugar, Given Salt (2001), a finalist for the National Book Critics Award. Hirshfield is also the author of two collections of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry (1997) and Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World (2015), and has edited and co-translated four books collecting the work of world poets from the past: The Ink Dark Moon: Poems by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Court of Japan (1990). Hirshfield’s work encompasses a large range of influences, drawing from the sciences as well as the world’s literary, intellectual, artistic, and spiritual traditions.