Tupelo Press Announces the Results of the 2021 Berkshire Prize

Tupelo Press is especially delighted to announce that our judge, Victoria Chang, has selected then telling be the antidote by Xiao Yue Shan of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada as the winner of the 2021 Berkshire Prize for a First or Second Book of Poetry! Xiao Yue Shan will receive a $3,000 cash prize, in addition to publication by Tupelo Press, 20 copies of the winning title, a book launch, and national distribution with energetic publicity and promotion. All manuscripts are judged anonymously.

Xiao Yue Shan is a poet and editor born in Dongying, China, who lives in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and is the author of the chapbook How Often I Have Chosen Love (Frontier Poetry, 2019). She is a co-editor in chief of Spittoon Literary Magazine, editor and designer at Tokyo Poetry Journal, blog editor at Asymptote Journal, and poetry editor at Cicada.

Judge’s Citation

“In then telling be the antidote, Xiao Yue Shan writes: “Sometimes/we spoke in a language so heavy that we passed/the words around in our hands.” In this beautiful book of poems, Shan’s language floats in the liminal space between countries, between history, between language. Shan’s poems explore themes of home, gender, politics, all the while exploring the threshold of the long line. These poems are lush and airy at once, uncertain and certain, powerful and gentle. Shan’s voice is unique and her gifts palpable, and we’re so lucky to have her words passed onto our hands.”

-Victoria Chang

Our sincere congratulations to Xiao Yue Shan, and all our runners-ups, finalists and semifinalists.

Runners-Up for the 2021 Berkshire Prize

J. Mae Barizo of New York, New York, Tender Archive

Born in Toronto, J. Mae Barizo is the author of The Cumulus Effect.  A prize-winning poet, critic and performer, recent work appears in Poetry, AGNI, Bookforum, Boston Review, Hyperallergic and Los Angeles Review of Books.  She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from Bennington College, the New School, the Jerome Foundation and Poets House.   Phillip Lopate wrote that Barizo’s “exquisite poems display throughout a mastery of poetic form and a thoroughly professional command of surface and tone.  It is clear we are in the hands ofa highly cultivated, intelligent writer.” A classically-trained musician and a champion of cross-genre work, J. Mae has performed sound/text collaborations with musicians from The National, Bon Iver, and the American String Quartet. As a musician she has performed with Mark Morris Dance Group, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Kanye West and Pharrell, among others. She teaches classes on hybridity and Trandisciplinary Writing the New School and Pratt School of Architecture and lives in New York City.   http://www.jmaebarizo.com/

Su Cho Milwaukee, Wisconsin, The Symmetry of Fish

Su Cho received her MA in English Literature and MFA in Poetry from Indiana University. She is pursuing a PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she is an Advanced Opportunity Fellow. Her poems can be found in POETRY, New England Review, Gulf Coast, Colorado Review, Cincinnati Review, Pleiades, The Journal, Crab Orchard Review, BOAAT, Thrush Poetry Review, PANK, Sugared Water, and elsewhere. Her essay, “Cleaving Translation” was the winner of Sycamore Review’s 2019 Wabash Prize for Creative Nonfiction, selected by Kiese Laymon, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She served as Editor-in-Chief of Cream City Review after serving as Editor-in-Chief of Indiana Review. She is a recipient of a National Society of Arts and Letters Award, the Guy Lemmon Award in Public Writing, the Writer in South Asia Fellowship, and the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Poetry Fellowship. https://suchowrites.com You can follow her on Twitter @su__cho.

Sarah Slingerland Sheiner of Denver, Colorado, Of Lack

Sara Slingerland Sheiner is a poet, a teacher, a diviner, a PhD candidate at the University of Denver, a  graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing program at Virginia Tech, & was the emerging poet-in-residence at Randolph College in 2017. She was the recipient of the 2014 Poetry Society of Virginia Prize, judged by Rachel Zucker, and of the Emily Morrison Prize in Poetry, selected by Dorothea Lasky.

She is currently working on her dissertation, a ‘contraepic’ titled The Field, & looking for a home for her first manuscript—an exploration of loss & absence through the conceit of a collection of ‘obituaries’ & other forms that play with genre, voice, & time/space—titled Of Lack, which was a finalist in Essay Press’s 2020 + University of Washington Bothell MFA Book Contest, judged by Renee Gladman, and a semi-finalist for the 2020 Wisconsin Poetry Series’ Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prizes.

 She is also one half of Mars + Chariot, a collaborative divinatory service at the crossroads of astrology + tarot.

Finalists for the 2021 Berkshire Prize

Emily Bludworth de Barrios of Houston, Texas,  Rich Wife : Hera

Emily Bludworth de Barrios is a poet whose books and chapbooks include Women, Money, Children, Ghosts (Sixth Finch 2016), Splendor (H_NGM_N 2015),  and Extraordinary Power (Factory Hollow Press 2014). Her work explores how culture and the environment are shaped by consumerism and misogyny. Poems have most recently appeared in jubilat, Poetry Daily, The Harvard Review, Electric Literature, Sixth Finch, and The Poetry Review. She received her MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and also holds degrees from Goldsmiths College and The College of William & Mary. She was raised in Houston, Cairo, and Caracas; she now lives in Houston with her husband and three children. The family is planning a move to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, her husband’s hometown. http://www.emilybludworthdebarrios.com/ Her twitter handle is @themoneyghost.

Eric Burger of Longmont, Colorado, Dark Picnic

Eric Burger
has received fellowships/awards from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Wesleyan Writers Conference, and Writers at Work. His poems have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, The Missouri Review Online, Best New Poets 2011, Indiana Review, Rattle, Quarterly West, Tupelo Quarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Gulf Coast, and Court Green, among others. He teaches at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and lives in Longmont, CO with his wife Katherine and children Willem and June.

Loisa Fenichell of Oakland, California, Wandering in all directions of this earth

Loisa Fenichell’s work has been featured or is forthcoming in Guernica Magazine, Palette Poetry, Tupelo Quarterly, Washington Square Review, and elsewhere. Her debut collection, all these urban fields, was published by nothing to say press. She will be an MFA candidate at Columbia University come Fall of 2021. 

Mike Lala of Brooklyn, New York, The Unreal City

Mike Lala grew up in the western United States and Tokyo, and lives in New York. He is the author of Exit Theater (Colorado Prize for Poetry 2016), Twenty-Four Exits: A Closet Drama (Present Tense Pamphlets, the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art 2016), In the Gun Cabinet (The Atlas Review Chapbook Prize 2016), Infinite Odyssey (Pioneer Works 2017), and Oedipus in the District (The Juilliard School / National Sawdust 2018).

Poems appear in BOMB, Boston Review, Fence, The Brooklyn Rail, Denver Quarterly, the PEN Poetry Series, and Hauser & Wirth’s Ursula. Lala has presented work across the US and Canada, at the 92nd Street Y (for Anne Carson’s Tenth Muse), The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s, the Whitney Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City. He holds an MFA from NYU, where he was a Veterans Writing Workshop Fellow.

Matthew Moore of Mercer Island, Washington, Jean D’Antietam

Matthew Moore’s poems appear in and are forthcoming from journals and magazines including Fence, Interim, Kenyon Review Online, Lana Turner, and Second Stutter. With Logan Fry and Caroline Gormley, he is co-editor of the online poetry journal, Flag + Void. His first manuscript, The Reckoning of Jeanne d’Antietam, was a finalist for Interim‘s inaugural Test Site Poetry Series.

Kate Partridge of Denver, Colorado, THINE

Kate Partridge is the author of the poetry collection Ends of the Earth (University of Alaska Press, 2017) and the hybrid chapbooks Guide to Urban Reindeer (Essay Press, 2017) and Intended American Dictionary (MIEL, 2016). Her poems have appeared in FIELD, Yale Review,PleiadesMichigan Quarterly Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Blackbird, and other journals. She is a graduate of the MFA program at George Mason University and the PhD in creative writing & literature at the University of Southern California. She lives in Denver, where she teaches at Regis University and co-edits Switchback Books. 

Jacob Sunderlin of Evansville, Indiana, Debt

Jacob Sunderlin’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Narrative, Gulf Coast, Third Coast, Ninth Letter, and other journals. He’s received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. He was educated at public schools and teaches 10th grade at one in Indiana.

Jordan Windholtz of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, The Sisters

Jordan Windholz‘s poems have appeared in such publications as Boston Review, 32poems, The Adroit Journal, and Diagram, among other publications. His first book, Other Psalms, won the 2014 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry. An assistant professor of English at Shippensburg University, he lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania with his wife, daughters, and dog, Olive.

Enormous thanks as well to our terrific readers and judge, Victoria Chang.

Victoria Chang has received degrees from the University of Michigan, Harvard University, and Stanford University, as well as an MFA from Warren Wilson College.  She is the author of OBIT (Copper Canyon Press, 2020), winner of the 2018 Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America and nominated for a National Book Award; Barbie Chang (Copper Canyon Press, 2017); and The Boss (McSweeney’s, 2013), winner of a PEN Center USA Literary Award and a California Book Award, among others.  Chang is also the author of the middle grade novel in verse Love, Love (Sterling Children’s Books, 2020) and the picture book Is Mommy? (Beach Lane Books, 2015), illustrated by Marla Frazee, as well as the editor of the anthology Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation (University of Illinois Press, 2004).  Chang, who received a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship, serves as a contributing editor of Copper Nickel, a poetry editor of Tupelo Quarterly, and a contributing editor for On the Seawall. She is the Program Chair of Antioch University’s low-residency MFA Program.

Our heart-felt gratitude goes out to all who sent us your 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 countless hours of reading pleasure.

Finally, and perhaps most important, we hope you will consider letting us see your full-length manuscript again, as our annual July Open Submission Period is currently open until July 31st. Thank you and we look forward to reading your work!