Tupelo Press is especially delighted to announce that our judge, John Murillo, has selected Asterism by Ae Hee Lee of Milwaukee, Wisconsin as the winner of the 2022 Dorset Prize! Ae Hee will receive a $3,000 cash prize and a week-long residency at MASS MoCA worth $1,500 in addition to publication by Tupelo Press, 20 copies of the winning title, a book launch, and national distribution of her book. All manuscripts were judged anonymously.
Born in South Korea, raised in Peru, Ae Hee Lee currently lives in the United States. She holds an MFA from the University of Notre Dame, where she was awarded an Academy of American Poets Prize, and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is the author of the poetry chapbooks: Bedtime || Riverbed (Compound Press, 2017), Dear bear, (Platypus Press, 2021), and Connotary, which was selected as the winner for the 2021 Frost Place Chapbook Competition. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming at Poetry Magazine, Poetry Northwest, The Georgia Review, New England Review, and Southern Review, among others.
About Asterism, judge John Murillo writes: It is quite commonplace when describing a new volume of poetry to resort to stock, albeit wholly appropriate, descriptors. “Stunning” and “dazzling” come immediately to mind. So, too, “compelling.” I’m sure I’ve used such phrases myself, and would now when writing about Asterism, were this book not so fresh that it makes one self-conscious of, and encourages the reader to want to lean away from, anything resembling the familiar. The range in theme would be impressive enough on its own, but what sets this collection apart is how the author is able to pull off legitimate experimentation while remaining accessible. The poems both invite and challenge the reader. Here is a poet as intelligent as any other, but whose intelligence is never the point of the poem. Not to mention the language is downright gorgeous. Perhaps what is most striking about the collection is the apparent ease with which the author moves between registers and modes. At times personal, at others political; slipping back and forth between lyric and narrative; drawing on various languages and geographies, Asterism is a collection of both grace and grit, the work of a mind at work—in, and on, a world that is simultaneously expanding and contracting.
Our sincere congratulations to Ae Hee Lee, and to all of our finalists and semifinalists.
Finalists for the 2022 Dorset Prize
Kristin Case of Farmington, Maine
Kristen Case is a poet and scholar. Her first poetry collection, Little Arias (New Issues Press), won the Maine Literary Award for Poetry in 2016, and her second collection, Principles of Economics (Switchback Books), won the 2018 Gatewood Prize. She is also the author of several scholarly essays on Henry David Thoreau and co-editor of the volumes Thoreau at 200: Essays and Reassessments (Cambridge UP) and 21|19 Contemporary Poets in the 19th-Century Archive (Milkweed Editions).
Joanne Diaz & Jason Reblando of Normal, Illinois
La Ruta: Walter Benjamin’s Final Passage
Jason Reblando is a documentary photographer whose work is in the collections of the Library of Congress, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. His monograph, New Deal Utopias (Kehrer Verlag) was published in 2017. He teaches photography at Illinois State University.
Joanne Diaz is the author of two poetry collections, The Lessons and My Favorite Tyrants. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches literature and creative writing at Illinois Wesleyan University.
Matthew Klane of Albany, New York
The 19th Century
Matthew Klane is co-editor at Flim Forum Press. His books include Canyons (w/ James Belflower, Flim Forum, 2016), Che (Stockport Flats, 2013), and B (Stockport Flats, 2008). An e-chapbook from Of the Day is online at Delete Press and an e-book My is online at Fence Digital. Other poems from Poetical Sketches were previously published online at Homonym. He currently lives and writes in Albany, NY, where he curates The REV Poetry Series and teaches at Russell Sage College.
Kristi Maxwell of Louisville, Kentucky
WIDE ASS OF NIGHT
Kristi Maxwell is the author of five books of poetry, including Realm Sixty-four (Ahsahta) and That Our Eyes Be Rigged (Saturnalia). She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Louisville.
Naomi Mulvihill of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
The Knife Thrower’s Girl
Naomi Mulvihill was a Poetry Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, in 2014. Her poems have been published in the Green Mountains Review, CutBank, New Orleans Review, West Branch, and others, and featured on Verse Daily. She is a bilingual teacher in the Boston Public Schools.
Christina Pugh of Evanston, Illinois
The Right Hand
Christina Pugh is a poet and critic. Her fifth book of poems, Stardust Media, was awarded the Juniper Prize for Poetry (University of Massachusetts Press, 2020). Her other books of poetry include Perception (Four Way Books, 2017), which Chicago Review of Books named one of the top poetry books published in 2017; Grains of the Voice (Northwestern University Press, 2013); Restoration (Northwestern University Press, 2008); and Rotary (Word Press, 2004), which was awarded the Word Press First Book Prize. She is also the author of the chapbook Gardening at Dusk (Wells College Press, 2002). Pugh’s poems have appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry magazine, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, Yale Review, and other periodicals; they have also appeared in more than ten anthologies, including Poetry 180 (Random House, 2003) and The Eloquent Poem (Persea Books, 2019). In addition to her own poetry, Pugh has published numerous articles treating the lyric tradition in modern and contemporary poems, the role of graphics and sound in current Emily Dickinson studies, and the poetics of ekphrasis. Pugh’s articles have appeared in Twentieth Century Literature, The New Dickinson Studies, The Emily Dickinson Journal, Literary Imagination, Poetry magazine, The Cambridge Companion to Poetry since 1945, and other publications.
Siobhan Scarry of Newton, Kansas
Dr. Scarry’s research and teaching interests include American literature from the 19th century to the present, with a focus on 20th-century poetry and poetics; modernism; and gender and sexuality studies. Her critical studies on 20th-century poetry have appeared in Reading Duncan Reading: Robert Duncan and the Poetics of Derivation (University of Iowa Press, 2012) and Paideuma (December 2013). Scarry is also a creative writer. Her first book of poetry, Pilgrimly, was published by Parlor Press in January, 2014. Juliana Spahr calls the book’s poems “luminous, complicated and full of ecotonalities.” Cynthia Hogue writes of the collection, “we could ruminate, luxuriate, and divinate in the language of these exquisite poems. They give the light with their own eyes. There is gold on their tongues.” Her poetry and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous literary journals, including Colorado Review, jubilat, Mid-American Review, New Letters, and Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics.
Ximena Keogh Serrano of Portland, Oregon
The Glow in Our Spilling
Ximena Keogh Serrano is a transnational poet and literary scholar. She is an assistant professor at Pacific University in Oregon, where she teaches Latin American and U.S. Latinx literary and cultural studies. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming from Kórima Press’s Anthology of Queer Latina Voices, The Chiricú Journal, Hematopoiesis Press, the Journal for Latina Critical Feminism, and elsewhere.
Michael Snediker of Houston, Texas
Michael D. Snediker is the author of the poetry collections The New York Editions (Fordham University Press, 2017) and The Apartment of Tragic Appliances (Punctum Books, 2013). He is also the author of Queer Optimism: Lyric Personhood and Other Felicitous Persuasions (University of Minnesota Press, 2009), a collection of critical essays. He teaches at the University of Houston and lives in Houston, Texas.
Andrew Zawacki of Watkinsville, Georgia
These Late Eclipses
Andrew Zawacki is the author of five books of poetry: Unsun : f/11 (2019), Videotape (2013), Petals of Zero Petals of One (2009), Anabranch (2004), and By Reason of Breakings (2002). His many chapbooks include Waterfall plot (2019), Sonnensonnets (2019), Kaeshi-waza (2018), Arrow’s shadow (2017), Georgia (2013), and Glassscape (2011). In his poems, Zawacki explores language, landscape, and technology, confronting the permissions and pitfalls of a “global pastoral” genre; he has described his interest in ecopoetics as well as the “electronic” conditions of life that are also “a crucial—and not always destructive—part of our human ecosystem.” His poetry has been translated into French, Italian, Russian, and Slovenian, and he has published four books of poetry in France, including Par raison des brisants, translated by Antoine Cazé and a finalist for the Prix Nelly Sachs. His criticism has appeared in magazines and journals such as the Times Literary Supplement, the Boston Review, How2, and Open Letter.
Congratulations also to our outstanding roster of semi-finalists:
Bruce Beasley of Bellingham, Washington. Study for a Hallelujah.
William Barnes of Santa Fe, New Mexico. the artemesia : a correspondence.
Carrie Bennett of Somerville, Massachusetts. Expedition Notes.
Julia Bouwsma of New Portland, Maine. Death Fluorescence.
Bryan Byrdlong of Los Angeles, California. Strange Flowers.
Raphael Dagold of Morristown, New Jersey. Relief Effort.
Ezra Feldman of Bennington, Vermont. On What Sun.
Jean Gallagher of New York, New York. Every Little Iliad.
Lea Graham of Kingston, New York. The O.E.D. Odes.
Jenny Grassl of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dear Woman In The Dining Room.
Matthew Minnicucci of Northport, Alabama. American Etymologies.
Katie Naughton of Buffalo, New York. The Real Ethereal.
Jennifer Perrine of Portland, Oregon. Beautiful Outlaw.
Malik Rasaq of Lincoln, Nebraska. Requiem for Homeland.
Mary Ann Samyn of Morgantown, West Virginia. The Return from Cavalry.
John de Stefano of New York, New York. The Visible Remains.
Julia Thacker of Arlington, Massachusetts. Hymn to Scorch.
Barbara Tomash of Berkeley, California. Her Scant State.
Julie Marie Wade of Dania Beach, Florida. Must Be Present To Win.
Lindsay Webb of Salt Lake City, Utah. Plat.
Enormous thanks as well to our terrific preliminary readers and judge, John Murillo, who is the author of the poetry collections, Up Jump the Boogie (Cypher 2010; Four Way Books, 2020), finalist for both the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Pen Open Book Award, and Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry (Four Way, 2020). His honors include two Larry Neal Writers Awards, a pair of Pushcart Prizes, the J Howard and Barbara MJ Wood Prize from the Poetry Foundation, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Cave Canem Foundation, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing.
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 Berkshire Prize for a First or Second Book of Poetry is open for submissions until May 31st. Our July Open Submission Period will also open this summer. Thank you and we look forward to reading your work!