Bauhan Publishing LLC hosts the May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize each year, awarding their sixth annual prize to Zeina Hashem Beck for her collection Louder than Hearts. The collection was chosen by Betsy Sholl, former poet laureate of Maine, who says Louder than Hearts “has it all—compelling language and a sense of moral gravitas, personal urgency and the ability to address a larger world with passion and artfulness.” She continues, calling the collection “timely in the way it provides a lens through which to see life in the Middle East, and hear the musical mix of English and Arabic.”
The collection will be released in April, but in the meantime, readers can read more about Zeina Hashem Beck, or they can try their hand at the May Sarton NH Poetry Prize themselves: submissions are open until the end of June.
Each year, the Cleveland State University Press holds the Open Book Poetry Competition, the Essay Collection Competition, and the First Book Poetry Competition (all three open until March 31, 2017). The three 2016 winners are set to be published at the beginning of April 2017.
In One Form to Find Another by Jane Lewty was chosen as the 2016 Open Book Poetry Competition winner, selected by Emily Kendal Frey, Siwar Masannat, and Jon Woodward. Advance praise refers to the collection as “an heroically unsettling and compelling textual reenactment of feminine embodiments’ lament, contemplation, and recalibration of disturbed histories . . . ”
daughterrarium by Sheila McMullin, selected by Daniel Borzutzky, won the 2016 First Book Poetry Competition. Borzutzky says of his selection, “I admire daughterrarium for pushing too far, for making me cringe with its representations of what one human can do to another, of what a body can do to itself.”
James Allen Hall’s I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well won the 2016 Essay Collection Competition, chosen by Chris Kraus. From Kraus: "In these essays, Hall lives alongside, and empathically lives through, his family’s meth addiction, and mental illnesses . . . and considers his own penchants for less than happy, equal sex with an agility, depth, and lightness that is blissfully inconclusive."
Check out the individual links to learn more about each prize-winning collection, and pre-order copies of all three.
In mid-April, Gallic Books will be publishing Hell’s Gate by Laurent Gaudé. Gaudé’s The Scortas’ Sun is the winner of the Prix Gouncourt, the French literary award given to an author of the best imaginative work of prose each year. Hell’s Gate is a thrilling story following a father as he chases redemption for his murdered son. It explores “the effects of bereavement and grief on a family, and the relationship between the living and dead.”
Check out the Gallic Books website for more information about Hell’s Gate. Read advance praise, check out a downloadable PDF extract, and give yourself a chance to read work by one of France’s most highly respected playwrights and novelists.
The winner of the 2016 Orison Poetry Prize, Ghost Child of the Atalanta Bloom by Rebecca Aronson, will be published next month on April 4, 2017. Hadara Bar-Nadav, who selected the winner, calls the collection, “[e]xplosive, turbulent, haunting magnetic,” saying that “[m]ortality and death undergrid Aronson’s fantastical visions, where a child becomes a seagull, a woman turns tarantula, and a house threatens to fill with blood.”
Find sample poem “Wish” at the Orison Books website, where you can also find out more about Aronson and pre-order copies, which are currently on sale, a couple saved bucks you can set aside for even more poetry.
Parlor Press’s annual New Measure Poetry Prize (now open for 2017 submissions until the end of June) awards a poet a cash award of $1,000 and publication of an original manuscript.
The 2015 winner, This History That Just Happened, by Hannah Craig, selected by Yusef Komunyakaa, was published at the beginning of the year. Komunyakaa says of his selection, “This History That Just Happened places the reader at the nexus where rural and city life converge, bridging a world personal and political, natural and artful, in a voice always uniquely hers.”
Craig has also won the 2016 Mississippi Review Prize and her manuscript was a finalist for the Akron Poetry Prize, the Fineline Competition, and the Autumn House Poetry Prize. Stop by the Parlor Press website to learn more about Craig and purchase her debut poetry collection digitally or in print.
Each June, Rescue Press accepts submissions for the Black Box Poetry Contest for full-length poetry collections open to poets at any stage in their writing careers. The latest Black Box Poetry winner will be released later this month (March 15): What Was It For by Adrienne Raphel. Judge Cathy Park Hong calls the debut full-length collection “feral and full of feverish delight.” She continues, “Raphel takes Victorian nonsense verse into the twenty-first century and transforms it to her own strange and genius song.”
Readers can learn more about What Was It For at the publisher’s website, where they can also find Raphel’s bio with more information about the writer and pre-order copies.
Diode Editions recently held their very first full-length book contest and have announced two co-winners: Remica Bingham-Risher’s Starlight & Error, and Paula Cisewski’s quitter.
Starlight & Error retells through the lens of imagined memory the legacies of love between aunts and uncles, mothers and fathers, children and their children’s children. The poems ask how we transcend the mistakes of those who made us, and who will save us.
quitter is a “thoughtful protest in form, line, and ideology.” The collection invites readers to ask ourselves what we’ve tried, and if we’ve tried hard enough, challenging us to continue looking for solutions.
Learn more about the prize-winning collections at the Diode Editions website where readers can read advance praise and order copies.
The University of Iowa Press brings readers a real treat: the lost novel of Walt Whitman, Life and Adventures of Jack Engle. While we’re familiar with Leaves of Grass, Life and Adventures of Jack Engle was serialized in a newspaper under a pseudonym, read with little fanfare, and then disappeared.
It wasn’t until 2016 that it was found by Zachary Turpan, a literary scholar. While following a deep paper trail into the Library of Congress, he stumbled upon the only surviving copy of Witman’s lost novel.
Now, after lying in wait for over 160 years, Life and Adventures of Jack Engle is available for modern readers both digitally and in print at the University of Iowa Press website.