Announcing the Results of the 2019 July Open Reading Period

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. This year we received over eight hundred manuscript submissions from across the United States and around the world.  

We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to an accomplished team of Preliminary Readers: Hope Wabuke, Kristen Case, and V. Joshua Adams.  Their feedback was invaluable as we reviewed this year’s stunning set of submissions.  

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

The Lantern Room by Chloe Honum

American Massif by Nicholas Regiacorte


About the Authors 

Chloe Honum is the author of The Tulip-Flame (Cleveland State University Press, 2014), which was selected by Tracy K. Smith for the Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize, won Foreword Reviews Poetry Book of the Year Award, the Eric Hoffer Award, and a Texas Institute of Letters Award, and was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award. She is also the author of a chapbook, Then Winter (Bull City Press, 2017). She is the recipient of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, and a Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship in Auckland City. Her work has appeared widely, including in The Paris ReviewPoetryThe Southern Review, and Orion. She grew up in Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand, and currently lives in Texas. 

In response to Chloe Honum’s The Lantern Room, the editors of Tupelo Press write:  

“Lyrical and lush, Chloe Honum’s The Lantern Room takes sorrow as its artistic subject: ‘Alone in my bedroom, I sob, / and the wardrobe steps forward, / like a coffin-mother, to embrace me.’ As Honum presents arresting imagery and daring metaphors, she does the urgent and necessary work of imagining a feminist poetics of the unspeakable, offering a vision that fully does justice to the complexity of her subject.  ‘Mother Silence / could appear behind me,” she writes, “waving from any one of these dark windows.’  The Lantern Room is a darkly brilliant book, and Honum is a rising star in contemporary poetry.”  


Nicholas Regiacorte was born and raised in southern Maine. Since that time, he’s lived in Florida, gone to college in Virginia, worked on roofing crews, worked in a deli, and earned his MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa.  He’s had the good fortune to live in Italy, once on a Fulbright year in Campania, the second time as a Visiting Professor in Florence. His poems have appeared in 14 HillsCopper NickelNew American Writing, DescantBennington Review, and elsewhere.  He currently teaches at Knox College, in Galesburg, Illinois, where he lives with wife and two little boys.

In response to Nicholas Regiacorte’s American Massif, the editors of Tupelo Press write: 

“In American Massif, Nicholas Regiacorte puts poetry to the task of remembering and imagining an astonishing range of scales and registers. Lines traverse intimate, domestic spaces and mammoth wilds, stretching from present moments through extinct epochs: “to be the only Pleistocene / in a loving but / Holocene house // where a suppressed laugh / sob growl makes / the whole frame shrink / in around // the unexploded shell of me–.” American Massif is the most important kind of ecopoetry, sensitizing readers to the work of dwelling not simply in, or upon, but with our most expansive senses of home.”


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. Our Sunken Garden Chapbook Prize is currently open to submissions, as is the Dorset Prize, to be judged by Maggie Smith.  We encourage you to let us see your work again.  

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 “Manuscripts of Extraordinary Merit”; all of them were on the table right up to the final minute.


Manuscripts of Extraordinary Merit

From the Dark Picnic by Eric Burger of Longmont, Colorado.

Letters to Forget by Kelly Caldwell of Columbia, Missouri. 

impact statement by Jody Chan of Toronto, Ontario. 

Pax Americana by Andrew Collard of Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

Tideline by Krystyna Dąbrowska.  Translated by Karen Kovacik, Antonia Lloyd-Jones, and Mira Rosenthal. 

Hoarded Birds by Samantha DeFitch of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  

Alone Together by Jaydn DeWald of Bogart, Georgia.   

The Lava On Iceland by Katy Didden of Muncie, Indiana.  

COIN by Linda Dove of Monrovia, California.  

The Eventual Pomegranate by Kerry James Evans of Auburn, Alabama.  

Screen Tests for [ ] Girls by Rochelle Hurt of Orlando, Florida.  

[NUMERACY] by Catherine Imbriglio of Riverside, Rhode Island. 

The Pears of Budapest by Vera Kroms of Brighton, Massachusetts.  

Spit by Daniel Lassel of Fort Collins, Colorado.  

Saints of the Republic by Chip Livingston of Montevideo, Uruguay. 

Prepared Ground by Erika Luckert of Lincoln, Nebraska. 

Lineage by Michael Marberry of Columbus, Ohio.  

Mother Tongue by Fabio Morabito. Translated by Curtis Bauer.

Pleasure by Angelo Nikolopoulos of Brooklyn, New York. 

The Last Unkillable Thing by Emily Pittinos of Boise, Idaho.  

The Valley by Esteban Rodriguez of Austin, Texas.  

Estancia by Lucas Smith of Irvine, California.  

Every Thing Awake by Sasha Steensen of Fort Collins, Colorado. 

Well by Sasha Steensen of Fort Collins, Colorado.  

Carcinogen by Seth Brady Tucker of Wheat Ridge, Colorado.  

Twelve Dynasties:  Poems by Chen Li.  Translated by Elaine Wong.  

Il Cane Rosso by Leah Xue of New York, New York.  

Gone Song by CL Young of Boise, Idaho. 

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.

The Editors
Tupelo Press