Tupelo Press Announces the 2015 Dorset Prize Winner and Finalists

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.