Tupelo Press Announces the Results of the 2019 Snowbound Chapbook Award

Tupelo Press is delighted to announce that Cole Swensen has selected Tyler Mills of Santa Fe, New Mexico, as winner of the 2019 Snowbound Chapbook Award, for her manuscript, The City Scattered. She receives a $1,000 cash prize, publication by Tupelo Press, and national distribution.

Tyler Mills photo
Tyler Mills

Tyler Mills is the author of two books of poems, Hawk Parable (winner of the 2017 Akron Poetry Prize) and Tongue Lyre (winner of the 2011 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Guardian, and Poetry, and her essays have appeared in AGNI, Copper Nickel, and The Rumpus. The recipient of residencies from Yaddo, Ragdale, and the Vermont Studio Center, and scholarships and fellowships from Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. She is an Assistant Professor at New Mexico Highlands University and Editor-in-Chief of The Account.

Judge’s Citation by Cole Swensen: 
In a tone reminiscent of the era’s radio plays, “The City Scattered” offers a range of spliced voices that construct a multi-perspectival musing on “the new woman” as she emerged in the labor and consumer culture of Germany between the wars. As so often happens through the slightly off-set lens of history, this work evokes contemporary issues of gender and social positioning while also creating a rich atmosphere that takes us to an intriguing elsewhere. In this case, this is achieved through the immediacy of characters that are specific enough to make us care about them and, at the same time, sufficiently open to allow our own imaginations to participate in the work.

We also participate in the city itself as it becomes a kaleidoscope of rapidly shifting images, making quick, expert cuts into each other, juxtaposing an arousing, energized youth, dancing, drinking, and punching time-clocks, with black-and-white, grainy newsreel imagery of unemployment lines and laundry drying in coal-polluted air. Tyler Mills keeps her language sharp and flat, vivid and yet frank, augmenting the sense of documentary accuracy that the series’ source text, an ethnographic study of labor in Germany in 1930, lends to the work. “The City Scattered” is also a study, we are told, and we in turn, study these voices, compare them to our own and those around us and are reminded that despite “mechanical tasks, / interchangeable . . . I (is) / no less a person.”  

Runners-Up for Snowbound Award:

  • Eric Pankey, Fairfax, Virginia: The Landscape in Theory: A Meditation
  • My Tran, Providence, Rhode Island: My dad is housed inside a whale

Finalists:

  • Danielle Blau, Ridgewood, New York: PEEP
  • Rebecca Foust, Kentfield, California: Dream of the Rood
  • Darien Gee, Waikoloa, Hawaii: Julia and Other Small Histories
  • Krupa Harishankar, New York, New York: True Apothecary
  • Aaron LoPatin, Boise, Idaho: I, Flea
  • Oksana Maksymchuk, Fayetteville, Arkansas: Tongue Ties
  • Michael Pontacoloni, Hartford, Connecticut: Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory
  • Elizabeth-Astrid Powell, Underhill, Vermont: When the insemination man comes to the farm
  • Shaheen Qureshi, Brooklyn, New York: The Sure Reality
  • Jennifer Richter, Corvallis, Oregon/BT Shaw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: dear :: dear
  • Leonora Simonovis, San Diego, California: Waiting For a Ripe Mango

Semifinalists

  • Kanika Agrawal, Denver, Colorado: Okazaki Mechanisms of Growth
  • Geoff Bouvier, Tampa, Florida: Transparent Inflatable Kayak
  • C.S. Carrier, Clarksville, Arkansas: Salt Bridge
  • Matthew Cooperman, Fort Collins, Colorado: A Little History of the Panorama
  • John de Stefano, New York, New York: From: The Roadless Travels
  • Michael Tod Edgerton, San Francisco, California: Rythmós
  • Carrie Green, Lexington, Kentucky: The Ornithologist
  • Sarah Mangold, Edmonds, Washington: This is Becoming a Feminine Chapter
  • Laura Minor, Tallahassee, Florida: Flowers as Mind Control
  • Jennifer Moore, Bowling Green, Ohio: Imaginary Weather
  • Emily Rosko, Charleston, South Carolina: Thereafter
  • Jen Rouse, Coralville, Iowa: Sweet Monster
  • Max Schleicher, Chicago, Illinois: Sonnets for an End of the Midwest
  • Emily Skillings, Brooklyn, New York, and CL Young, Boise, Idaho: Rose of No Man’s Land
  • Sarah Sousa, Ashfield, Massachusetts: Hex
  • Stephanie Strickland, New York, New York: One Sentence to Save in a Cataclysm
  • Maya Jewell Zeller, Spokane, Washington: / out-takes / glove box /

We wish to congratulate Tyler Mills, our two runners-up, our finalists and semifinalists, and all who entered manuscripts in the Snowbound Chapbook Award. We received a record number of submissions, and were delighted by a stunning number of terrific manuscripts. By your writing, each of you joins in the solitary and vital work of making poetry. Many, many thanks to our judge, Cole Swensen, for blessing us with the so-very-hard (and largely unsung) work of selecting a winner and runners-up, and for writing a superbly thoughtful citation. 

Please bear in mind that our Open Reading Period is held every July. Both full-length and chapbooks are eligible. See submission guidelines here.

And our Third Annual Tupelo Broadside Prizes are now open, with a new category for currently enrolled MFA students! We are accepting 3-5 original poems. See submission guidelines here.