Tupelo Press is especially delighted to announce that our judge, Mark Bibbins, has selected Bed by Elizabeth Metzger of Los Angeles, California as winner of the 2021 Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Award!
Elizabeth Metzger is the author of The Spirit Papers (University of Massachusetts Press, 2017), winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry, and the chapbook The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death (Horsethief Books, 2017). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry Magazine, American Poetry Review, The Nation, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, among others. Her prose has recently been published in Conjunctions, Literary Hub, Guernica, and Boston Review. She is a poetry editor at The Los Angeles Review of Books. You can find more of her writing at elizabethmetzger.com.
About bed Mark Bibbins writes:
Let me confess to having taken the easy way in. My mind first went to the noun (where we sleep), then to the verb (“to sleep with”). Yours may have too, but the more time you spend with this remarkable book, the more you might come to think of planting, tending, picking. A bed of roses—or indeed, no bed of roses. Elizabeth Metzger’s poems act as both repositories and engines of mystery, of “secrets other secrets / have rubbed away,” yet their mysteriousness never feels coy. There’s a difference between hiding information and asserting control over how it’s revealed. “I stayed off-center,” she writes, and to me this has always seemed like one of the better places from which to view things, but hers is furthermore a poetry that recognizes, as Gertrude Stein put it, “there is no use in a center.” Among Metzger’s many gifts is her ability to describe complicated positions simply, facing down the conundrums of language and perspective to devastating effect: “The children left me. / You say they came.” —Mark Bibbins
Our sincere congratulations to Elizabeth Metzger, whose book “Bed” will be published in time for her debut reading this summer at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, date and time to be announced.
2021 Sunken Garden Runners-Up
Christian Collier of Hixson, Tennessee, The Gleaming of the Blade
Shawn Hoo of Singapore, Of the Florids
Sara Watson of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Our Imaginary Childhood
2021 Sunken Garden Finalists
Chloe Hanson of Knoxville, Tennessee, Bluebeard’s Key
K.D. Harryman of Los Angeles, California, Alprazoland
Claire Hero of New Paltz, New York, The Encroaching Fur
Kelly Hoffer of Ithaca, New York, The Claude Glass
Jasmine Khaliq of Brentwood, California, Facefull
A.D. Lauren-Abunassar of New York, New York, Things Beneath the Sky
Megan Neville of Cleveland, Ohio, The Fallow
Antonina Palisano of Hamilton, New York, Axiom for When the Stars Go Out
Arthur Solway of Santa Cruz, California, Friday Night, Shanghai
Lucy Wainger of New York, New York, In Life There Are Many Things
Glenn Shaheen of Houston, Texas, The Tender Land
Jordan Windholz of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, The Sisters
Nicholas Yingling of North Hollywood, California, The Thin Book
2021 Sunken Garden Semifinalists
Diana Adams of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Drop Shot
Bryan Byrdlong of Chicago, Illinois, Exquisite Corpse
Dante Di Stefano of Endwell, New York, Little Low Heavens
Tasha Fouts of Shoreline, Washington, Migrations
Jenny Grassl of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ephemera on the Lam
Benjamin Grossberg of West Hartford, Connecticut, As Are Right Fit
Alejandro Lemus-Gomez of Cambridge, England, Psalms of Lumber and Sea Salt
Nathan Manley of Concord, New Hampshire, Ecology of the Afterlife
Noah Falck & Matt McBride of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Pre-Recorded Weather
Mark Minster of Terre Haute, Indiana, The Path at Owl Hollow
Ruby Hansen Murray of Cathlamet, Washington, On the Island
Elizabeth A.I. Powell of Underhill, Vermont, Cygnet, Signet: Fertility Myth
Elizabeth Robinson of Oakland, California, Jonah
Martha Ronk of Los Angeles, California, Distant Sonnets
Yun Wei of Geneva, Switzerland, Passport Poems
Kevin West of Denton, Texas, Each Lie That Pollutes the Body
Nancy Woo of Long Beach, California, Good Darkness
Charity Yoro of Hillsboro, Oregon, Territories
Enormous thanks as well to our terrific readers and judge, Mark Bibbins, who is the author of four poetry collections, most recently 13th Balloon from Copper Canyon Press. His first book, Sky Lounge, received a Lambda Literary Award.
Our heart-felt gratitude goes out to all who sent us your chapbook manuscripts and who, by your writing, link arms 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.
Finally, and perhaps most important, we hope you will consider letting us see your chapbook manuscript again, as our annual Snowbound Chapbook Award is on now. We’d also love to see your full-length manuscript, as the annual Berkshire Prize for a First or Second Book of Poetry is also open for submissions.