The results of the 2017 Berkshire Prize for a First or Second Book


Tupelo Press is delighted to announce that Aimee Nezhukumatathil has selected Anna Maria Hong of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as winner of the 2017 Berkshire Prize for a First or Second book of Poetry. Her manuscript Fablesque will be published by Tupelo Press in 2019.



Anna Maria Hong is the Visiting Creative Writer at Ursinus College and was a Bunting Fellow in Poetry at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The recipient of Poetry magazine’s Frederick Bock Prize, she has poetry and fiction appearing in publications including The Nation, The Iowa Review, Dusie, Ecotone, Southwest Review, Green Mountains Review, Verse Daily, The Volta, Drunken Boat, Fence, Beloit Poetry Journal, Best New Poets, and The Best American Poetry. Her chapbook Hello, virtuoso! was published by the Belladonna* Collaborative. Her novella H & G is forthcoming from Sidebrow Books. The recipient of residencies from Yaddo, Djerassi, and Valparaiso, she teaches creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania.



Aimee Nezhukumatathil, judge of this year’s Berkshire Prize, is the author of three books of poetry, most recently, Lucky Fish (Tupelo 2011). With Ross Gay, she co-authored the epistolary chapbook, Lace & Pyrite. Her collection of nature essays is forthcoming from Milkweed. Honors include a Pushcart Prize and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.  She is poetry editor of Orion magazine and professor of English in The University of Mississippi’s MFA program.


Runner Up:

Claire Wahmanholm of St. Paul, Minnesota for Wilder


Honorable Mention:

Carlie Hoffman of Fair Lawn, New Jersey for This Alaska



Danielle Badra of Fairfax, Virginia for Child of the Universe

Brandi George of Hattiesburg, Mississippi for Faun

Lisa Hiton of Deerfield, Illinois for Afterfeast

Brandon Lewis of New York, New York for On the Cannibals

Andrea Read of Somerville, Massachusetts for This History of Glass

Joshua Rivkin of Salt Lake City, Utah for The Knots

Ruth Williams of Kansis City, Missouri for Observational Gestures

Tracy Zeman of Royal Oak, Michigan for Empire



Michelle Brooks of Albuquerque, New Mexico for Flamethrower

J.L. Conrad of Madison, Wisconsin for If Not This Then What

John de Stefano of New York, New York for Three-body Problems

Landon Godfrey of Black Mountain, North Carolina for Inventory of Doubts

Philip Pardi of Phoenicia, New York for Listening to Juan Carlos in the Post-War

Ines Pujos of New York, New York for Against Porcelain

Lisa Rosenberg of Menlo Park, California for A Different Physics

Shannon Tate Jonas of Homer, Illinois for The Rake


Warmest congratulations to the winner, to the runner-up, honorable mention, finalists and semi-finalists, and perhaps most importantly, to the many poets who permitted us the pleasure of reading their submissions. There are so many terrific manuscripts coming our way, and we are abundantly grateful for the opportunity to read so much compelling work. We offer our boundless gratitude to Aimee Nezhukumatathil.


Thank you all for making poetry, that most solitary of artistic pursuits, for believing in yourselves, and for supporting what we do here at Tupelo Press.


Bear in mind that our July Open Reading Period is on for just a few more days, and it is through this reading period that we here at Tupelo Press select the lion’s share of what we publish. We’re always looking for a few transcendent books!