Tupelo Press Names the 2017 Sunken Garden Chapbook Award Winner

Tupelo Press is delighted to announce that Maggie Smith has chosen Ordinary Misfortunes by Emily Jungmin Yoon of Chicago, Illinois, as winner of the 2017 Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Prize.

Maggie Smith says: “I’m completely taken in by these poems, how they deftly balance lyric and narrative, history and the present, body and mind. These are poems of violence–against women, and against Korean women in particular–but they are also poems about the pain and pleasure in language itself: ‘pear in Korean is a homonym for ship or boat’; ‘A homonym for apple is apology.’ Ordinary Misfortunes is a remarkable collection.”

Emily Jungmin Yoon‘s poems and translations appear or are forthcoming in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Offing, The Literary Review, and elsewhere. For her poetry, she has received awards and fellowships from Ploughshares’ Emerging Writer’s Contest, AWP’s WC&C Scholarship Competition, The Home School in Miami, the Aspen Institute, New York University, and the University of Chicago. She is the Poetry Editor for The Margins, the literary magazine of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and is a PhD student in the East Asian Languages and Civilizations Department at the University of Chicago.



  • Philip Arnold, The Natural History of a Blade, New Albany, Ohio
  • Danielle Blau, Ridgewood, New York, Peep,
  • Adam Berlin, The Standing Eight, New York, New York
  • Libby Burton, A Brief Hysteria, Brooklyn, New York
  • Martin Corless-Smith, In Error, Boise, Idaho
  • Gail DiMaggio, Woman Prime, Concord, New Hampshire
  • Sharon Dolin, The Pocket Oracle, New York, New York
  • Amy Dryansky, A System of Wanting, Conway, Massachusetts
  • Andy Eaton, From the Book of Wind and Brass, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
  • Diana Goetsch, In America, New York, New York
  • Aaron Graham, The Hurry Up and The Wait, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Zakia Henderson-Brown, What Kind of Omen Am I, Brooklyn, New York
  • Janet Kaplan, The Certainty of Others, Brooklyn, New York
  • Jen Karetnick, The Crossing Over, Miami Shores, Florida
  • Robert Lipton, Pin Pricks in the Vault of Heaven, Pt. Richmond, California
  • Matthew McBride, The Mourners Forget What Funeral They Are At, Iowa City, Iowa
  • Elizabeth Metzger, The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, Los Angeles, California
  • Cheswayo Mphanza, To Dance on Caskets, Chicago, Illinois
  • Boyer Rickel, Lecons des Choses, Tucson, Arizona,
  • Sasha Steensen, Thirty-Three Hendes, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Alan Williamson, Franciscan Notes, Berkeley, California

Congratulations to Emily Jungmin Yoon and as well to our superb cast of finalists. A special and sincere thanks to all who sent us your manuscripts and who, by your writing, join in the tireless, solitary, and so-important work of making poetry. So many more manuscripts than we can mention here gave us (literally) countless hours of reading pleasure.