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2013 Contest Winners

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July Open Reading Period

Tupelo Press is proud and honored to select the following three manuscripts for publication from among so much deserving work received during our July 2013 Open Reading Period:

Please know that we received so many memorable and vibrant manuscripts that stake a serious claim of entitlement to publication, and so many, many manuscripts that had brilliant parts and pieces, yet hadn't yet “jelled” as a book. We hope to see all of this work again. The Dorset Prize is on now. It’s read anonymously, and this year’s judge is the brilliant David Wojahn.

So many poets believe that Not Getting Selected is the same as “Rejection.” Not so, though of course it may feel that way; we read and fall in love with so very many books, and there must be at least 100 submissions I’d publish if we had the time and money. Therefore, it’s so important for poets to keep the manuscripts coming back, to keep them in front of us. It’s a vital part of the process of discovery and rediscovery.

Although the July Open Reading Period at Tupelo Press is not a contest and therefore we don't specify “finalists” or “semi-finalists,” we do want to single several manuscripts that we felt deserving of special mention this time around. Think of these as “Honorable Mentions” all on the table right up to the final minute (and so many others, nearby, calling to us):

And so many others. Keep faith. Believe in your work. What you do as poets matters more in the world than even you know.

Jeffrey Levine
Tupelo Press

First/Second Book Award


Amy McCann Paisley Rekdal has selected Yes Thorn by Amy McCann of Minneapolis, Minnesota as winner of the 2013 First/Second Book Award

In her award message, Paisley Rekdal singles out Yes Thorn for using language “in new and exciting ways.” Rekdal goes on to admire McCann’s exploration of the critical questions: “What connects us, to each other and to belief? Can we be connected to ideas, to lovers, to religious belief, to family—without also being inscribed by these connections? Can we be moved by desire and longing without becoming subject to them?"

Amy McCann's poetry has recently appeared in the Kenyon Review, Gettysburg Review, and West Branch, among other journals and magazines. She was a 2012-2013 McKnight Artist Fellow in Poetry and 2012 fellowship recipient from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She received her M.F.A. in poetry from Eastern Washington University and currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she teaches at the University of Northwestern—Saint Paul.


Paisley Rekdal has named Sleep Sculptures by Michael Homolka of New York, New York as runner-up.Sleep Sculptures,” she says, “has an assured and muscular voice throughout. As a collection, it is a great meditation upon family romances and family narratives, where the archetypal becomes utterly original.”

Finalists (in alphabetical order)

Tupelo Press Snowbound Chapbook Award


Kathleen Jesme has selected Chad Parmenter’s Weston's Unsent Letters to Modotti as winner of the 2012 - 2013 Snowbound Chapbook Award.

Chad Parmenter Chad Parmenter's poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Kenyon Review, and Harvard Review. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, and is currently a visiting assistant professor at Niagara University

Our Distinguished Finalists
in alphabetical order