Tupelo Press is especially delighted to announce that our judge, Chen Chen, has selected Landsickness by Leigh Lucas of San Francisco, California as winner of the 2023 Sunken Garden Poetry Chapbook Award.  

Leigh Lucas is a writer living in San Francisco. She has been awarded residencies at Tin House, Sewanee, and Kenyon, and been recognized with AWP’s 2020 Kurt Brown Prize for an emerging poet, as well as nominations for Best of Net and multiple Pushcart Prizes. Leigh’s poems can be found in or are forthcoming from North American Review, Smartish Pace, Frontier Poetry, and elsewhere. She holds a BA from Stanford and an MFA from Warren Wilson. She is at work on her first full length collection of poetry, a book about love and loss.

Here’s what our contest judge, Chen Chen, had to say about the winning chapbook:

Landsickness names and navigates a shattering grief in every possible way: through the pulse, via the intellect, from the shivering body and all its sweaters, over land, underwater, in the leaky vastness of night, in suffocating day, in a therapist’s questions, with rage and somehow humor, too. I could not stop reading this collection. Its candor startles. Its speaker seems to hold nothing back about how ungraceful, how ugly the grieving has been and is. Though of course it takes tremendous craft (grace) to sustain, vary, and expand such an effect for an entire (beautiful) work. Such a gift, these spacious pages, this space in which any feeling, however unruly, can walk through and receive the honor of vibrating attention. I mean—this is love. Read it now. 

Our sincere congratulations to Leigh Lucas, and all of our finalists.

Finalists for the Sunken Garden Poetry Chapbook Prize 

Rachel Abramowitz of Brooklyn, New York. Flea with Martyrdom. 

Brandon Amico of Asheville, North Carolina. On the First Day of the Year. 

Craig Beaven of Tallahassee, Florida. In Arcadia. 

M. Cynthia Cheung of Houston, Texas. Occurrence of a Dream Translated by Animals. 

Megan Dahn of Bronx, New York.  Let Nest. 

John Loughlin of Cary, Illinois. The Last Idea. 

Abigail Minor of Aaronsburg, Pennsylvania. Rhythm Make a Riot. 

Martha Ronk of Los Angeles, California. at the nearshore. 

Rodrigo Toscano of New Orleans, Louisiana. Flight Plan. 

Karla Van Vliet of Bristol, Vermont. Bone Scribed. 

Abigail Ardelle Zammitt of Lija, Malta. Her Body Was a Place She Called Home.

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

Chen Chens second book, Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency, is forthcoming from BOA Editions in September 2022. His debut, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), was longlisted for the National Book Award and won the Thom Gunn Award, among other honors. His work appears in many publications, including Poetry and three editions of The Best American Poetry. He has received two Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from Kundiman, the National Endowment for the Arts, and United States Artists. He was the 2018-2022 Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University and currently teaches for the low-residency MFA programs at New England College and Stonecoast. 

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 manuscript again, as our annual Snowbound Chapbook Prize is open through February 28th, as well as our Berkshire Prize for a First or Second Book, which closes to submissions on April 31st. Thank you and we look forward to reading your work!