Announcing the Preliminary Readers for the 2019 Dorset Prize

We’re pleased to announce the preliminary readers for our 2019 Dorset Prize. These talented writers will help choose which manuscripts should be honored as finalists and forwarded on to our final judge, Mary Jo Bang.

The readers are:

V. Joshua Adams, a former editor of Chicago Review, teaches at the University of Louisville. His chapbook, Cold Affections, is forthcoming in 2018 from Plan B Press.

Kristen Case, whose poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Chelsea, Brooklyn Review, Pleiades, Saint Ann’s Review, The Iowa Review, Wave Composition, Eleven Eleven, Wildness, Rust + Moth, BOAAT, Matchbook Magazine, and The Harvard Review. Her chapbook, Temple, was published by MIEL in 2014, and her full-length collection, Little Arias (New Issues, 2015) won the Maine Literary Award for Poetry. She is co-editor of the essay collection 21 | 19, featuring contemporary poets writing on 19th-century American texts, forthcoming from Milkweed Editions. She is also the author of numerous scholarly essays and the introduction to the bicentennial Penguin Classics edition of Thoreau’s Walden and Civil Disobedience. She teaches English at the University of Maine at Farmington.

Nicole Cooley, who grew up in New Orleans. Her most recent books are two forthcoming collections of poetry: Girl after Girl after Girl (LSU Press, 2017) and Of Marriage (Alice James Books, 2018). She has published four other collections of poems, a novel and a chapbook. She is the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College-City University of New York.

Cassie Donish,the author of the poetry collections The Year of the Femme (University of Iowa Press, 2019), winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize, and Beautyberry (Slope Editions, 2018), as well as the nonfiction chapbook On the Mezzanine (Gold Line Press, 2018), chosen by Maggie Nelson as a winner of the Gold Line Press Chapbook Competition. Her writing has appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Gettysburg Review, Best New Poets, jubilat, Kenyon Review Online, Sugar House Review, Tupelo Quarterly, VICE, and elsewhere. Co-editor-in-chief of The Spectacle, she earned her MFA at Washington University in St. Louis, where she received an Olin Fellowship and served as the Junior Fellow in Poetry. She holds degrees from the University of Oregon and the University of Washington, and she’s currently teaching classes and pursuing a PhD in literature and creative writing at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Chloe Honum, who grew up in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Her first book, The Tulip-Flame (2014), was selected by Tracy K. Smith for the Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize, named a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award, and won Foreword Reviews Poetry Book of the Year Award, the Eric Hoffer Award, and a Texas Institute of Letters Award. She is also the author of a chapbook, Then Winter (Bull City Press, 2017). Chloe has been a guest poetry editor for the Pushcart Prize anthology, and her poems have appeared in such journals as The Paris ReviewPoetry, Orion, and The Southern Review.

Dong Li, who was born and raised in P.R. China. A poet of the lost world. He has poems in Cincinnati Review, Conjunctions, Kenyon Review and many others. His works have been translated into German, anthologized in Fischer Klassik (S.Fischer Verlag, Germany) and have appeared in manuskripte (Austria) and Neue Rundschau (Germany). He translates from the Chinese, English and German. His full-length English translation of the Chinese poet Zhu Zhu The Wild Great Wall was published by Phoneme Media in June, 2018. He has received fellowships from Yaddo, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Akademie Schloss Solitude, PEN/Heim Translation Fund and others. 

Kyle McCord,the author of six books of poetry including National Poetry Series Finalist, Magpies in the Valley of Oleanders (Trio House Press 2016) and X-Rays and Other Landscapes (Trio House Press 2019). He has work featured in AGNI, Blackbird, Boston ReviewThe Gettysburg Review, The Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly and elsewhere.  He has received grants or awards from The Academy of American Poets, The Vermont Studio Center, and the Baltic Writing Residency.  He serves as Co-Executive Editor of Gold Wake Press.  He teaches at Drake University in Des Moines where he lives with his wife, visual artist Lydia McCord, and son, August.

Alycia Pirmohamed, who is a Canadian poet currently living in Scotland, where she is a Ph.D. student at the University of Edinburgh. Her work has appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, PRISM International, Third Coast Magazine, and The Poetry Book Society, and was selected for the 2018 edition of The Best New British and Irish Poets. She is the creative writing and reviews editor of the postgraduate journal, HARTS & Minds, and a co-editor of They Rise Like A Wave: An Anthology of Asian American Women Poets, forthcoming from Blue Oak Press. Alycia has an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Oregon.

Heidi Seaborn, who started writing in 2016, and whose poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Nimrod, Mississippi Review, Penn Review, Yemassee Journal, American Journal of Poetry and in her chapbook Finding My Way Home. She’s won or been shortlisted for over a dozen awards including the Rita Dove Poetry Prize. Her award-winning debut book of poetry, Give a Girl Chaos (see what she can do) is forthcoming from Mastodon Publishing. She’s a New York University MFA candidate, graduate of Stanford University and serves on The Adroit Journal staff.

Catherine Theis, whose latest book, MEDEA (Plays Inverse, 2017) is an adaptation of the Euripides story set in the mountains of Montana. Her first book of poems is The Fraud of Good Sleep (Salt Modern Poets, 2011). She holds a Russell Endowed Fellowship and is a PhD Candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California, where she also translates contemporary Italian poetry into English. Her scholarly interests primarily focus on the intersection between translation, poetics, and performance studies. She can be found at

Barbara Tomash, the author of four books of poetry, PRE- (Black Radish Books, 2018), Arboreal (Apogee 2014), Flying in Water, which won the 2005 Winnow First Poetry Award, and The Secret of White (Spuyten Duyvil 2009). An earlier version of PRE- was a finalist for the Colorado Prize and the Rescue Press Black Box Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in Colorado Review, Denver QuarterlyWeb ConjunctionsNew American WritingVerseVOLTOmniVerseWitness, and numerous other journals. She lives in Berkeley, California, and teaches in the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University.

Artress Bethany White, poet, essayist, and literary critic. She is the recipient of the 2018 Trio Award for her forthcoming poetry collection, My Afmerica (Trio House Press, 2019), and the author of the collection Fast Fat Girls In Pink Hot Pants (2012). More recent poetry appears in such journals as the Harvard ReviewPoet LoreEcotoneThe AccountPleiades, and Solstice. Recent essays, “Sonny Boy” and “A Lynching in North Carolina,” appear in The Hopkins Review and Tupelo Quarterly. Her essay, “A Lynching in North Carolina,” was also a finalist for the 2018 Tupelo Quarterly Prose Open Prize. She has received the Mary Hambidge Distinguished Fellowship from the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts for her nonfiction, The Mona Van Duyn Scholarship in Poetry from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and a writing residency at the Tupelo Press/MASS MoCA studios. She is a visiting assistant professor of American cultural studies at Albright College in Pennsylvania.