2014 Award and Contest Winners

Congratulations to all of our Tupelo Press award and contest winners for 2014!

Dorset   |   Snowbound   |   Berkshire   |   Sunken Garden

Tupelo_July_Logo_1Tupelo Press selected three manuscripts for publication from among an astonishment of deserving work submitted during our July 2014 Open Reading Period:

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram of Buffalo, New York for Personal Science

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram
Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram is a 2014 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Poetry Fellowship. Her first book, But a Storm is Blowing From Paradise, was selected by Claudia Rankine as the 2010 Benjamin Saltman Award winner and published by Red Hen Press in 2012 and was a 2013 poetry nominee for the Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award for outstanding works of literature published by people of African descent. Her second book, a slice from the cake made of air, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. Winner of the 2012 Phantom Limb Press chapbook contest, her chapbook cutthroat glamours was published in 2013. She is one-sixth of the poetry collective, Line Assembly. She has been in residence at the Vermont Studio Center, the Montana Artists’ Refuge, has received fellowships from Cave Canem and the Bread Loaf Writers’ and is the recipient of a United States Embassy grant for a writing residency at the Ventspils Writers’ & Translators’ House in Ventspils, Latvia, in 2014. The 2009-2011 Gaius Charles Bolin Fellow at Williams College, her poetry, prose, photography, and digital stories have received numerous awards and have appeared widely in journals such as Black Warrior Review, Callaloo, Cream City Review, Court Green, DIAGRAM, Gulf Coast, Harvard Review, Indiana Review, jubilat, Mid-American Review, Narrative Magazine, OH NO, Subtropics, Sou’wester, Tupelo Quarterly, Twelfth House, and more. She holds degrees in creative writing from the University of Utah where she is the current managing editor of Quarterly West, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Carnegie Mellon University. She is currently a Pre-Doctoral Diversity Fellow at Ithaca College, where she teaches creative writing.

Juliet Rodeman of Columbia, Missouri, The Voice of That Singing

Juliet Rodeman
Juliet Rodeman

Juliet Rodeman writes us: “I live in Columbia, Missouri and taught at the University of Missouri for 22 years, studied with Larry Levis and was an intern when we launched The Missouri Review in the spring of 1978. I grew up on a farm in Missouri, one of 12 children. I credit my mother’s legacy: she worked in factories, on the farm, milked cows by hand, helped women in childbirth, sewed our clothes on her Singer foot-treadle sewing machine. She loved music, reading, writing; she kept books for a local insurance company. She completed the 8th grade. I treasure her poetry handbook with her handwritten poems of Keats, Shelly, and Wordsworth, a phenomenal woman.” Juliet Rodeman’s poems have appeared in The Poets: Anthology (Cera), Crab Orchard Review, Denver Quarterly, Ellipsis, Many Mountains Moving, Peregrine, Southern Poetry Review (Guy Owen Prize), the Mid-America Poetry Review, the American Poetry Review, the Anthology of New England Writers, the Antioch Review, and elsewhere.

Grant Souders of Denver, Colorado, for Service

Grant Souders

Grant Souders is a writer and artist from the Rocky Mountain West. He is the author of the chapbook, Relative Yard (Patient Sounds, 2013), and a collaborative book with Nathaniel Whitcomb, A Singular Continent (Palaver Press, 2014). His work has appeared in the Boston Review, jubilat, Denver Quarterly, and other venues.

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 Edward Hirsch. On now, too, is the Snowbound Chapbook Award, this year judged by Lia Purpura.

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 a good 50 submissions I’d take today 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.

The July Open Reading Period at Tupelo Press is not a contest and therefore we don’t specify “finalists” or “semi-finalists.” However, we do very much want to single out 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).

Jose Alvergue of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, for précis
Brandon Amico of Manchester, New Hampshire, for Green
Talvikki Ansel of Westerly, Rhode Island, for Somewhere in Space
Geoffrey Babbitt of Geneva, New York, for Appendices Pulled from a Study on Light
Justin Boening of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, for Not On the Last Day, But on the Very Last
Alice B. Fogel of Acworth, New Hampshire, for A Doubtful House
Rebecca Foust of Kentfield, California, for Paradise Drive
Austin La Grone of Sweden, for Pinch-Bug in the Go-Go Boot
Michael Homolka of New York, New York, for Family
Rafiq Kathwari of New York, New York, for In Another Country
Joy Manesiotis of Redlands, California, for Revoke
Diane Martin of Graton, California, for Hue & Cry
Sawnie Morris of Rancho de Taos, New Mexico, for Her, Infinite
Paul Portugues of Los Osos, California, for But For Fortune
<id:”dorset”>Stephanie Schlaifer of St. Louis, Missouri, for Clarkson Street Polaroids
Peter Shippy of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, for My Rugged Company
John Surowiecki of Amston, Connecticut, for Janice, Who Was Tall
Molly Tenenbaum of Seattle, Washington, for Exercises to Free the Tongue
Leslie Ullman of Arroyo Seco, New Mexico, for The You That All Along Has Housed You: A Crown Meditation
Ronald Wallace of Madison, Wisconsin, for For Dear Life
Sharon Wang of Chicago, Illinois, for Republic of Mercy

Tupelo_Dorset_Logo_2Lauren Camp’s One Hundred Hungers was the winner of the 2014 Tupelo Press Dorset Prize, judged by David Wojahn.

Lauren Camp
Lauren Camp

Lauren Camp is the author of two books of poems, The Dailiness (Edwin E. Smith, 2013) and This Business of Wisdom (West End Press, 2010). She was a juror for the 2014 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and guest editor for special sections in World Literature Today (on international jazz poetry) and Malpaís Review (on the poetry of Iraq). Three times nominated for a Pushcart Prize, her writing has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Brilliant Corners, The Portland Review, and Feminist Studies. Lauren has been a radio producer and host on Santa Fe Public Radio since 2003, and is an acclaimed visual artist. For more information, go to her website, www.laurencamp.com.

In selecting One Hundred Hungers David Wojahn had this to say: I was impressed by the cohesiveness of this collection, by the ease with which it moved between its themes of exile, displacement, uneasy assimilation into North American culture, and its ability to tell a family history without resorting to the autobiographical clichés…. The book is inventively structured, mixing personal lyrics with a series of short, gnomic and haunting vignettes that seem to reside almost outside of time. And of course the particular diaspora which the book derives from—capturing the experience Iraqi-Jewish immigrant family—makes for a still more complicated stance, one of exile within exile, as it were…. It is a strong and compelling collection.

David Wojahn selected a first and second runner-up:

First runner-up: The Body Distances, by Mark Wagenaar of Denton, Texas
Second runner-up: The Visible Remains, by John de Stefano of New York, New York

In addition, David Wojahn singled out two books for honorable mention:

The Weaver’s Body by Holaday Mason of Venice, California
Janice, Who Was Tall by John Surowiecki of Amston, Connecticut

Other Distinguished Finalists:

Tony Barnstone of Whittier, California for Pulp Sonnets
Lillian Bertram of Buffalo, New York for Personal Science
Tina Cane of Rumford, Rhode Island for Archipelago
Julie Hanson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa for Sovereign Notion
HR Hegnauer of Denver, Colorado for When the Bird is Not A Human
Michael Homolka of New York, New York for News From the Mountain
George Kalamaras of Fort Wayne, Indiana for We Wore Monk Hair
Kirsten Kaschock of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for Confessional Sci-Fi: A Primer
Stuart Lishan of Delaware, Ohio for The Archeology of Light
Juliet Rodeman of Columbia, Missouri for The Voice of That Singing
Julie Marie Wade of Dania Beach, Florida for SIX
Ian Randall Wilson of Santa Monica, California for Bitter Carrots

We offer our boundless gratitude to our judge, David Wojahn, for giving all of us the benefit of his extraordinary ear and eye. Warmest congratulations to the winner, to both runners-up, both honorable mentions, to all of this year’s finalists, and once again, and perhaps most importantly, to the many poets who permitted us the pleasure of reading their submissions. There’s a lot of fine poetry coming our way, and we are abundantly grateful for the opportunity to read so much compelling work.

(photo credit: Bob Godwin)

Learn more about the Dorset Prize>>.

Tupelo_FirstSecond_Logo_7Jenny Molberg’s Marvels of the Invisible was the winner of the 2014 Berkshire Prize for a First or Second Book of Poetry, judged by Jeffrey Harrison.

Jenny Molberg
Jenny Molberg

Jenny Molberg earned her B.A. at Louisiana State University and her M.F.A. at American University. Her work has appeared in North American Review, The New Guard, Copper Nickel, Mississippi Review, and other journals. Her poem, “Narrative,” won the 2013 Third Coast Poetry Prize. Currently, she is Production Editor at American Literary Review and a doctoral candidate at the University of North Texas.

In selecting Marvels of the Invisible Jeffrey Harrison had this to say: “Jenny Molberg’s Marvels of the Invisible is that rare, compelling thing: a collection that feels as though it has arisen out of an actual life, celebrating and struggling with the issues and events of that life, and making of them a beautiful, fraught sense. These poems bring together vastly different ways of seeing the world—the scientific, the spiritual, the personal, the historical, the oneiric—through a synthesizing and transformative imagination that is attuned to the details of the physical world while seeking realms beyond the visible, beyond what can be said but is well worth trying to say, ‘spreading/ a strange, unutterable music’ onto the page.


Jaime Brunton of Lincoln, Nebraska for Reclaimed
Tina Cane of Rumford, Rhode Island for archipelago
J.K. Daniels of Arlington, Virginia for Prodigal
Elyse Fenton of Portland, Oregon for Sweet Insurgent
Kim Garcia of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts for The Brighter House
Julie Hanson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa for Proximate
Michael Homolka of New York, New York for Black Willow Are You a Doctor?
Virginia Konchan of Chicago, Illinois for Annotating Hiroshima, Mon Amour
Chris Mink of Tallahassee, Florida for All The Devils
Laurel Nakanishi of Miami, Florida for The World So Far
Nina Puro of Brooklyn, New York for The Winter Palace
Juliet Rodeman of Columbia, Missouri for The Voice of that Singing
Steven Teref of Chicago, Illinois for The Foreign Object
Kara van de Graaf of Milwaukee, Wisconsin for Dear Satellite
Mark Wagenaar of Denton, Texas for The Body Distances (A Hundred Blackbirds Rising)
Maura Way of Greensboro, North Carolina for Bye Week
Anna Welch of Erie, Pennsylvania for Noah’s Woods

We offer our boundless gratitude to our judge, Jeffrey Harrison, for giving all of us the benefit of his extraordinary ear and eye. Warmest congratulations to the winner, to all of this year’s finalists, and once again, and perhaps most importantly, to the many poets who permitted us the pleasure of reading their submissions. There are so many terrific first and second books coming our way, and we are abundantly grateful for the opportunity to read so much compelling work.

Tupelo_Snowbound_LogoAllan Peterson’s Other Than They Seem was selected as winner of the 2014 Snowbound Chapbook Poetry Award, judged by Ruth Ellen Kocher.

Allan Peterson
Allan Peterson

Poet and visual artist Allan Peterson earned degrees at the Rhode Island School of Design, Southern Illinois University, and the Claremont Graduate School. His books of poetry include Anonymous Or (2002); All the Lavish in Common (2005), winner of the Juniper Poetry Prize; As Much As (2011); and Fragile Acts (2012), which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. His chapbooks include Assurances (2011) andOmnivore (2009). Peterson’s poetry is known for its wild logic and painterly effects. Marilyn McCabe, reviewing Peterson in Rattle, noted, “his poetic eye takes in the world, as we view a painting, not an orderly left to right, but a scan, a darting from one interesting element to another.”

McSweeney’s, in an interview available on-line, writes: Allan Peterson is seventy-one, and wrote for thirty years before publishing a book. John Ashbery now calls him “a major find.”

As a visual artist, Peterson has exhibited widely, including shows with the Minnesota Center for the Book Arts, the El Paso Museum of Art, and the New Orleans Academy of Art. His honors and awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Florida Fine Arts Council, among others. The former chair of the visual arts department at Pensacola State College, Peterson currently divides his time between Florida and Oregon. http://allanpeterson.net

Runner-up this year is Gabriel Jesiolowski of Seattle, Washington for As Though Burning Leaves.

In addition, Ruth-Ellen Kocher singled out two manuscripts for honorable mention:

  • Sirens by Tina Cane of Rumford, Rhode Island, and
  • Chop: 30 Kwansabas for Fannie Lou Hamer by Treasure Redmond of St. Louis, Missouri.

Other Distinguished Finalists:

  • Hadara Bar-Nadav of Kansas City, Missouri for Fountain and Furnace
  • Justin Boening of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania for An Abundance
  • Rebecca Foust of Kentfield, California for Headlong into Earth
  • Andrea Henchey of Windsor, Connecticut for American Lips
  • Mara Jebsen of Brooklyn, New York for Alphabet
  • Rebecca Kaiser-Gibson of Marlborough, New Hampshire for Opinel
  • Kelin Loe of Northampton, Massachusetts for Flanders Fielding
  • Siwar Masannat of Amman, Jordan for Olive
  • Miho Nonaka of Wheaton, Illinois for Autumn Troupe
  • Dawn Potter of Harmony, Maine for Vocation
  • Aubrey Ryan of Davenport, Iowa for Good Beast
  • Jon Tribble of Carbondale, Illinois, for Grease Trap
  • Mark Wagenaar of Denton, Texas for The Body Distances (A Hundred Blackbirds Rising)
  • Amy Wright of Clarksville, Tennessee for Specimen

Our deeply felt thanks to Ruth Ellen Kocher for doing the impossible job of selecting a winner from an astonishingly strong field of finalists. Our warmest congratulations to the winner, runner-up, honorable mentions, and finalists, and our ardent appreciation to every poet who entered this year. There were far too many excellent manuscripts to mention, though we will let semi-finalists know by separate letter. Thank you all for doing the crucially important work of making poetry, of changing the weather every day, and for your evident show of support for what we do here at Tupelo Press.

Sunken Garden Poetry Prize2014 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize Winner, Runners-Up, Finalists and Semi-Finalists

Tupelo Press is especially delighted to announce that Mark Doty has selected Ted Lardner of Gates Mills, Ohio as winner of the Sunken Garden Poetry Prize for his chapbook manuscript, We Practice For It.

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 Martha Collins, Patricia Smith and Tony Hoagland. The winner receives a $1,000 cash prize, an introductory reading at the Summer 2014 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, and publication of a chapbook, to be designed, published, and distributed nationally by Tupelo Press.

Ted Lardner’s poems have appeared in Arsenic Lobster, 5am, Rhino, Luna, Pleiades, and also in two previous chapbooks: Passing By a Home Place and Tornado, winner of the Wick Poetry Chapbook Award from Kent State University Press. He teaches writing at Cleveland State University.

Mark Doty named two runners-up:

  • Stacey Balkun of Fresno, CA — Eppue Si Muove
  • Rebecca Kaiser Gibson of Marlborough, NH — Opinel

Other Finalists:

  • Tina Cane of Rumford, RI — Once More With Feeling
  • Linda Dove of Monrovia, CA — This Too
  • Kara van de Graaf of Milwaukee, WI — Dear Satellite and Spitting Image
  • Matthew Minicucci of Champaign, IL — Small Gods
  • Dan Murphy of Los Angeles, CA — False Book of Rhyme
  • Judith Pacht of Los Angeles, CA — The Sun Falls Too
  • Linda Pennisi of Syracuse, NY — Miniscule Boxes
  • Carol Potter of Corinth, VT — The Miss Nancy Papers
  • Virginia Chase Sutton of Tempe, AZ — Tilt-A-Whirl
  • John Suroweicki of Amston, CT — Janice Who Was Tall


  • Mary Jo Amani of Swannanoa, NC — The Descent of a Woman: Fables from a Marriage
  • Andrea Carter Brown of Los Angeles, CA — Cloud Studies: Hudson River School
  • Kristen Case of Farmington, ME — On Being-With
  • Sue Chenette of Toronto, CA — What We Said
  • Gibson Fay-LeBlanc of Portland, ME — Stay/Stray
  • Jan Freeman of Ashfield, MA — Silence
  • Lucia Galloway of Claremont, CA — The Garlic Peelers
  • Diane Glancy of Monrovia, CA — The Long of All That Is Going
  • Eve Grubin of London, England — The House Of Our First Loving
  • David Brendan Hopes of Asheville, NC — In a Summer of Almost Too Much Light
  • David Koehn of Pleasanton, CA — Field of View
  • Anatoly Molotkov of Portland, OR — Your Life As It Is
  • Barbara Mossberg of Pacific Grove, CA — Fat Lady Flying
  • Daniel Polikoff of Mill Valley, CA — Reed Music
  • Saara Myrene Raappana of Marshall, MN — Milk Tooth, Levee, Fever
  • Hal Sirowitz of Philadelphia, PA — Jumping for Love: Fat and Thin Poems
  • Jeffrey Thompson of Farmington, ME — Self Portrait in Nine Generations
  • Harry Waitzman of Congers, NY — The Last Dragon in Chinatown

Sincere congratulations to the winner, runners-up, finalists and semi-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 join, by your writing, the tireless, solitary, and so-important work of making poetry.

Explore other Tupelo Press Awards and Contests