Tupelo Press Announces July Open Reading Period Selections 2016

This year, the editors at Tupelo Press are grateful to have had the chance to read and reread your manuscripts that came to us in record numbers – and record quality.


Tupelo Press will publish and distribute three of the submitted manuscripts. We are proud and honored to select for publication:


The Book of Life a full-length book of poetry by Joseph Campana of Houston, Texas


Joseph Campana is a poet, arts writer, and scholar of Renaissance literature. He is the author of two collections of poetry, The Book of Faces (Graywolf, 2005) and Natural Selections (2012), winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize. His poems appear in Slate, Kenyon Review, Poetry, Conjunctions, Colorado Review, and many other venues. His poems have received prizes from the Southwest Review and Prairie Schooner. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Houston Arts Alliance, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. The Book of Life will be Joseph Campana’s third published collection.


Kill Class, a full-length book of poetry by Nomi Stone of Bethesda, Maryland


Nomi Stone is the author of the poetry collection Stranger’s Notebook (TriQuarterly, 2008), a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Anthropology at Princeton University, and an MFA Candidate at Warren Wilson College. She has a PhD from Columbia and was a Creative Writing Fulbright Scholar in Tunisia. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The New Republic, The Best American Poetry 2016, Guernica, Blackbird, Drunken Boat, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. Kill Class will be Nomi Stone’s second published collection.




Reasons to Wake You, a chapbook by Paige Lewis of Tallahassee, Florida


Paige Lewis, whose poems have appeared in Ploughshares, The Massachusetts Review, The Cincinnati Review, Poetry Northwest, Ninth Letter, The Colorado Review, Passages North, Bennington Review, Indiana Review and elsewhere, is the 2016 recipient of The Florida Review Editors’ Award in Poetry. Reasons to Wake You will be Paige Lewis’s first published collection.




We writers are all human and tender when it comes to announcements like this, and tend (of course) to believe that Not Getting Selected equals “Rejection.” Not so. We fall in love with many of the manuscripts we read (both full-length and chapbooks), many of which we would publish if we had the time and money. This is why it’s important for you as poets to keep your manuscripts in circulation, keeping them in front of us. We cannot over-emphasize what a vitally import part of the writing process it is for you to take this opportunity to think about your work again, to let the poems speak to you in perhaps newly revelatory ways, and to let us see the revised version. Virtually every poet we’ve ever published has submitted many times over.


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 “Distinguished Mentions”; all of them were on the table right up to the final minute (and so many others, nearby, calling to us). An additional 50 (or so) manuscripts were, we felt, just about ready to enter the world.





Distinguished Mentions:


Mary Moore Easter of St. Paul, Minnesota — The Body of the World

Marlon Fick of Chinle, Arizona — The Tenderness and the Wood

Rebecca Foust of Kentfield, California — Dream of the Rood

Erica Funkhouser of Essex, Massachusetts — Circling

Julian Gewirtz of Hamden, Connecticut — All Night Inclusive

Tanya Grae of Tallahassee, Florida — Undolled

Rebecca Hazelton of Naperville, Illinois — The Other City

Steven Hopkins of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania — The Camphor Seller

Cynthia Huntington of Post Mills, Vermont — 3 Birds

Luisa Igloria of Norfolk, Virginia — The Buddha Wonders if She is Having a Mid-Life Crisis

Len Krisak of Newton, Massachusetts, translator — The Aenid of Virgil

George Kalamaras of Fort Wayne, Indiana — We Slept the Animal

Jeanne Larsen of Roanoke, Virginia — The Odyssey Triggers

Jim Peterson of Lynchburg, Virginia — The Horse Who Bears Me Away

Kathleen Pierce of Wimberley, Texas — Vault

Todd Portnowitz of Brooklyn, New York, translator — Go Tell It to the Emperor: Selected Poems of Pierluigi Cappello

Anne Shaw of Chicago, Illinois — Rough Ground

Michelle Somerville of Brooklyn, New York — Glamorous Life

Alison Stone of Upper Nyack, New York — Dazzle

Adam Tavel of Quantico, Maryland — Catafalque

Shelly Taylor of Tucson, Arizona — Pine Sugar the Gourd

Catherine Turnbull of Traverse City, Michigan — The Spider’s Apprentice

Leslie Ullman of Arroyo Seco, New Mexico — The You That All Along Has Housed You

Ruth Williams of Kansas City, Missouri — Pleasurable Aberration of a Foreign Body

Sam Witt of Brookline, Massachusetts — The Lesser Blessing of Water

Emily Wolahan of San Francisco, California — The Direct Account of Frank Thomas


And there were many more worthy of praise. Believe in your work. What you do as poets matters more in the world than even you know.


Jeffrey Levine

Editor-in-Chief & Publisher


Cassandra J. Cleghorn,

Poetry Editor