2015 Tupelo Press Award & Contest Winners

Congratulations to all of the winners of 2015 Tupelo Press Awards and Contests!

Dorset   |   Snowbound   |   Berkshire  |   Sunken Garden

July Open Submission Person2015 July Open Submissions

Winners:  Lise Goett for Leprosarium and Jorge Aulicino in translation by Judith Filc for A Certain Roughness in their Syntax

Tupelo Press is grateful to the editors and publisher of 3:A Taos Press for joining us in a six-months process of reading and evaluating each of the submissions, which came to us in record numbers — and record quality. Tupelo Press will publish two of the submitted manuscripts, and 3:A Taos Press, which makes absolutely gorgeous books, will choose one more (that announcement coming soon). Tupelo Press will distribute all three books.

In 2015, Tupelo Press was proud and honored to select for publication:

Leprosarium by Lise Goett of Taos, New Mexico.

Leprosarium was the 2012 winner of the Robert H. Winner Memorial Award in Poetry from the Poetry Society of America. Lise Goett’s other awards include The Paris Review Discovery Award, The Pen Southwest Book Award in Poetry, the Capricorn Prize, the James D. Phelan Award, and The Barnard New Women Poets Prize for her first poetry collection, Waiting for the Paraclete (Beacon), as well as postgraduate fellowships from The Milton Center and the Creative Writing Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including the Paris Review, Ploughshares, Image, Mandorla, and the Antioch Review.


A Certain Roughness in their Syntax by the contemporary Argentine poet Jorge Aulicino in translation by Judith Filc of Beacon, New York.

Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Judith Filc received a medical degree from Buenos Aires University, but decided instead to pursue a PhD in literature at the University of Pennsylvania. Her first of four volumes of poetry appeared while still a medical student. Judith’s translations include poetry and fiction, public opinion research, women’s health and rights, and scholarly work in a variety of fields. She has taught creative writing in both Argentina and the US, in English and Spanish. In 2002 she returned to the US as a visiting scholar at Columbia University and decided to settle in the Hudson Valley, New York where she lives with her husband and son.

Jorge Aulicino has played a key role in the Argentine and Latin American poetry scene for more than thirty years as a poet, translator, journalist, and editor. He has published twenty poetry books, among them, La caída de los Cuerpos (The Fall of the Bodies), Hombres en un Restaurante (Men at a Restaurant), La línea del Coyote (The Line of the Coyote), and Cierta dureza en la Sintaxis (A Certain Roughness in Their Syntax). He has translated the work of Cesare Pavese, Pier Paolo Passolini, Guido Cavalcanti, Dante Alighieri, John Keats, Ezra Pound, and Marianne Moore, among others.

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 we’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 (and revision).

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 out 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):

The Somatic Wager by Kristin George Bagdanov of Fort Collins, Colorado
Before by Jennifer Barber of Brookline, Massachusetts
Consequences of the Laws of Thermodynamics by Samiya Bashir of Portland, Oregon
Unburdened Blood, translations from the Spanish of poetry by Jeannette Clariond, by Curtis Bauer of Lubbock, Texas
Water Soluble Girls by Jessica Beyer of Baltimore, Maryland
Tramp by Joelle Biele of Ellicott City, Maryland
Technicolor by Michelle Brooks of Albuquerque, New Mexico
Acacia Road by Aaron Brown of Hutchinson, Kansas
Not Everything Lost Is Lost by Deborah Brown of Warner, New Hampshire
A Strange Insomnia by Christina Cook of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Body of the World by Mary Easter of St. Paul, Minnesota
Scrap: On Louise Nevelson by Julie Gard of Duluth, Minnesota
The Brighter House by Kim Garcia of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Hum of Our Blood by Madelyn Garner of Denver, Colorado
Einstein’s Imaginary Daughters by Jennifer Givhan of Albuquerque, New Mexico
heft and sing by Doyali Islam of Toronto, Canada
as burning leaves by gabriel jesiolowski of Seattle, Washington
Slow Scrape by Tanya Lukin-Linklater of North Bay, Canada
The Stone in the Air, translations from the German of selected poems of Paul Celan, by Daniel Tobin of Boston, Massachusetts
The You That All Along Has Housed You: A Sequence by Leslie Ullman of Arroyo Seco, New Mexico
Republic of Mercy by Sharon Wang of Ridgewood, New York
Kinship by Matt Yurdana of Portland, Oregon

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

Berkshire Prize for First or Second Book of Poetry2015 Berkshire Prize

Winner:  Fire Season by Patrick Coleman

Tupelo Press is delighted to announce that our judge Carol Frost has selected Patrick Coleman of Ramona, California from an extraordinary field of finalists as winner of the 2015 Berkshire Prize for his manuscript, Fire Season.

The winner receives a $3,000 cash prize, publication by Tupelo Press, and national distribution.

Patrick Coleman

Patrick Coleman earned a BA from the University of California, Irvine, where he studied with Jim McMichael and Michelle Latiolais, and later received an MFA from Indiana University. His short stories and prose poems have appeared recently in Hobart, Black Warrior Review, ZYZZYVA, and the Utne Reader. Currently, he’s writing and editing an exhibition catalogue on the relationship between visual arts and music, forthcoming from Yale University Press, all the while finding himself “neck-deep in a fourth draft of a novel.”

About Fire Season, Carol Frost writes:

The poems in Fire Season are full of friction—common word touching common word making that friction. They are also philosophical and personal. Patrick Coleman is tuned in to landscape, language, and humanity, each poem casual as office talk and heightened by their proximity to art and by the force of the sentence—such arresting sentences.


Idris Anderson of San Carlos, California for Root of the Matter
Joseph Chapman of Ann Arbor, Michigan for Rhetorical Kingdom
Todd Fredson of Venice, California for Century Worm
Adam Giannelli of Shaker Heights, Ohio for Tremulous Hinge
Aaron Graham of Atlanta, Georgia for Blood Stripes
Leslie Harrison of Baltimore, Maryland for Triptych
Gabriel Jesiolowski of Seattle, Washington for As Burning Leaves
Robert Lipton of Pt. Richmond, California for Like Wire for Mother
Shivani Mehta of Calabasis, California for The Rapture of Mannequins
Erin Mullikin of Syracuse, New York for Impossible Animal
Sarah Murphy of Jacksonville, Florida for Semaphore
Natania Rosenfeld of Chicago, Illinois for Orfeo in the Snow
Catherine Theis of Santa Monica, California for Sophia
Alpay Ulku of Muratpaşa-Antalya, Turkey for The Stiller of Atoms
Sharon Wang of Ridgewood, New York for Republic of Mercy

Sincere congratulations to Patrick Coleman, to our superb cast of finalists, and special thanks to all who entered this competition and who, by your writing, join in the tireless, solitary, and so-important work of making poetry. Many, many thanks to Carol Frost for taking on the nearly impossible challenge of naming the winner.

Tupelo Press Dorset Prize

2015 Dorset Prize

Winner:  Almost Human by Thomas Centolella

Tupelo Press is delighted to announce that Edward Hirsch has selected Thomas Centolella of San Francisco, California as winner of the 2015 Dorset Prize for his manuscript, Almost Human.    The winner receives a $3,000 cash prize, publication by Tupelo Press, and national distribution.

Thomas Centolella
Thomas Centolella

Thomas Centolella is the author of three collections of poetry: Terra Firma(chosen by Denise Levertov for publication in the National Poetry Series),Lights & Mysteries, andViews from along the Middle Way, all from Copper Canyon Press. His work has earned such honors as the Lannan Literary Award, the American Book Award, the California Book Award, and the Northern California Book Award. His poems have been featured in numerous periodicals and anthologies, as well as on NPR. He is also a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. He has taught creative writing for many years in the San Francisco Bay Area.


  • Hala Alyan, New York, New York — The Hands of Fatima
  • Britta Ameel, Portland, Oregon — The Sterile Field
  • Matt Donovan, Santa Fe, New Mexico — Ten Burnt Lakes
  • Marlon Fick, Chinle, Arizona — Unamuno’s Cat
  • Christina Hutchins, Albany, California — Tender the Maker
  • Karen Kevorkian, Culver City, California — Improbable Proximities
  • Rebecca Lehmann, Potsdam, New York — O, Sing!
  • Harriet Millan, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania — Her Oceanography
  • Michael Robins, Chicago, Illinois — Match
  • Christian Schlegel, Cambridge, Massachusetts — Tree Hydrangea, Hills of Snow
  • Molly Tenenbaum, Seattle, Washington — Mytheria
  • Alpay Ulku, Chicago, Illinois — The Stiller of Atoms
  • Mark Wagenaar, Denton, Texas — The Body Distances (A Hundred Blackbirds Rising)
  • Sharon Wang, Ridgewood, New York — Republic of Mercy

Sincere congratulations to our winner and finalists, and special thanks to all who entered this competition and who, by your writing, join in the tireless, solitary, and so-important work of making poetry. Many, many thanks to Edward Hirsch for taking on the nearly impossible challenge of naming the winner. Please bear in mind that Tupelo Press offers an open reading period throughout the month of July. See submission guidelines here.

Tupelo_Snowbound_Logo_1502015 Snowbound Chapbook Award

Winner:  Matt Donovan for Ten Burnt Lakes

Tupelo Press is delighted to announce that Lia Purpura has selected Matt Donovan of Santa Fe, New Mexico as winner of the 2015 Snowbound Chapbook Award for his manuscript, Ten Burnt Lakes. In addition she named two runners-up: Kim Garcia of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts for Tales of the Sisters and Philip Schaeffer of Missoula, Montana for Hideous (Miraculous).

The winner receives a $1,000 cash prize and, of course, a chapbook, designed, published, and distributed nationally and in the UK and Australia by Tupelo Press.

Matt Donovan
Matt Donovan

Matt Donovan received his MA from Lancaster University and his MFA from New York University where he attended as a New York Times Fellow. He is the author of Vellum (Houghton Mifflin/Mariner, 2007), which won the 2006 Bakeless Prize in Poetry as well as the 2008 Larry Levis Reading Prize from Virginia Commonwealth University. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including AGNI, American Poetry Review, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, and Poetry, and his nonfiction has appeared in journals such as AGNI, Blackbird, Black Warrior Review, Kenyon Review, Seneca Review, Threepenny Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review. Donovan is the recipient of a Rome Prize in Literature, a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Breadloaf Fellowship in poetry, and a Lannan Writing Residency Fellowship. Donovan is currently collaborating on an opera with soprano Susan Narucki and composer Lei Liang. He is chair of the Creative Writing and Literature Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.


Nathalie Anderson, Rutledge, Pennsylvania — Held and Firmly Bound
Deb Casey, Eugene, Oregon — First Tongue
Jennifer Cheng, San Francisco, California — How to Build an American Home
Claudia Cortese, Montclair, New Jersey — The Red Essay and Other Histories
Shira Dentz, Menands, New York — Sisyphusina
John DeStefano, New York, New York — From: Three Body Problems
Jan Freeman, Ashfield, Massachusetts — Silence
Lucia Galloway, Claremont, California — The Garlic Peelers
Gabriel Jesiolowski, Seattle, Washington — Or Tell Me How
Kai Karlson-Wee, San Francisco, California — Jesse James Days
Catherine Kasper, San Antonio, Texas — Offspring
Steven Lautermilch, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina — Wheel
Gigi Marks, Ithaca, New York — Fuel
Holaday Mason, Venice, California — Transparency
Suzanne Parker, New York, New York — Feed
David Rigsbee, New York, New York — Dream Baby
Charles Schubert, Oro Valley, Arizona — End Transmission
Jon Tribble, Carbondale, Illinois — Grease Trap
Kara Van de Graaf, Chicago, Illinois — Spitting Image
Sincere congratulations to our winner, runners-up, finalists, and special thanks to all who entered this competition and who, by your writing, join in the tireless, solitary, and so-important work of making poetry. Many, many thanks to Lia Purpura for taking on the nearly impossible challenge of naming the winner and the runners-up.

Sunken Garden Poetry Prize

 2015 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize

Winner:  Hadara Bar-Nadav for Fountain and Furnace

Tupelo Press is delighted to announce that Peter Stitt has selected Hadara Bar-Nadav of Kansas City, Missouri as winner of the 2015 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize for her chapbook manuscript, Fountain and Furnace.

Hadara Bar-Nadav

The Sunken Garden Poetry Prize is a prestigious national poetry prize for adult writers. Established in 2002, the Prize has drawn submissions from around the country that have been judged by renowned poets such as Mark Doty, Martha Collins, Patricia Smith and Tony Hoagland. The winner receives a $1,000 cash prize, an introductory reading at the Summer 2015 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, at which she will open for former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser (check out the Festival here), and, of course, a chapbook, designed, published, and distributed nationally by Tupelo Press.

Hadara Bar-Nadav is the author of Lullaby (with Exit Sign), awarded the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize; The Frame Called Ruin, Runner-Up for the Green Rose Prize from New Issues; and A Glass of Milk to Kiss Goodnight, awarded the Margie Book Prize. Her chapbook, Show Me Yours, won the 2009 Midwest Poets Series Award. She is also co-author of the best-selling textbook Writing Poems, 8th Edition. Recent awards include fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She is Associate Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Other Finalists:

Philip Schaefer of Missoula, Montana — Animalia
Treasure Redmond of Fairview Heights, Illinois — chop: 30 kwansabas for fannie lou hamer
Karen Kevorkian of Culver City, California — Improbable Proximities
Mark Wagenaar of Denton, Texas — Marrow, Dark Matter
Jane Huffman of Kalamazoo, Michigan — The Epistles of Oil and Water
David Rigsbee of Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina — The Takeaway
Steve Lautermilch of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina — Walking a Sea Bed by Moonlight
Kai Karlson-Wee of San Francisco, California — Jesse James Days
Jordan Smith of Clifton Park, New York — Dream of the Quarry
Leslie Ullman of Arroyo Seco, New Mexico — The Noticing: A Crown of Meditations
Vandana Khanna of Studio City, California — We Are Always the Girls
Sincere congratulations to the winner and finalists and special thanks to all who entered this competition and, in doing so, help spread the word about the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, and who, by your writing, join in the tireless, solitary, and so-important work of making poetry. Submissions arrived this year from 47 of our 50 States, and from every continent on Earth, but for Antarctica.



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