Winners of the 2023 James Hearst Poetry Prize

We are pleased to announce that our 2023 judge Paul Guest has selected a winner and two runners-up from a slate of finalists and semi-finalists for North American Review's 2023 James Hearst Poetry Prize. Thank you to everyone who submitted poetry for the prize. We had 353 entries this year, and we enjoyed reading such an abundance of excellent poetry. The winner, runners-up, honorable mentions, and finalists will appear in the Spring 2023 issue of North American Review, and all entrants will receive a copy. 

First Place
“Death Letter #5” — Sean Thomas Dougherty

“On Cannibals” — Zachary Bos
“The Myth of Timelines” — Mag Gabbert

Honorable Mentions
“Schrodinger's Cat” — Macaulay Glynn
“A braid of unknowing I tie before you” — Karan Kapoor

“Splash Study” — Leigh Lucas
“Plato and So-and-So Screamed Flee for God’s Sake, But” — Suphil Lee Park
“Poem with an Epigraph from Ovid” — Jen Grace Stewart
“I Sleep at the Far Edge of the Bed, Crowded by Nothing” — Kimberly Kralowec
“Inheritance” — Carly DeMento
“The Anthropocene: A Poem in Glitches” — Mag Gabbert
“My Mother was Pragmatic” — Meryl Natchez
“Lost Graveyard in the Appalachians” — John Kneisley
“Afternoon” — Christopher Brean Murray
“Already in Progress” — Christopher Brean Murray
“The End of Everything” — Abby E. Murray
“Dear twentieth century, dear grandfather:” — Charity Gingerich
“After Viewing an Antique Blanket from My Home State, I Make the Latest Bed” — Rose McLarney
“Alternating Current”— F.J. Bergmann
“Half Kaddish” — Misha Tentser
“Active Shooter Drill” — Elizabeth Knapp


Headshot | Paul Guest


About the Judge

Paul Guest is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Because Everything Is Terrible, and a memoir, One More Theory About Happiness. His writing has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, Tin House, Slate, New England Review, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, North American Review, and numerous other publications. A Guggenheim Fellow and Whiting Award winner, he lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.