Category Archives: Poetry

ANNOUNCING THE RESULTS OF THE WISCONSIN POETRY PRIZE COMPETITION

Out of nearly 1,000 entrants, Caitlin Roach has been selected as the winner of the Brittingham Prize in Poetry and Eduardo Martínez-Leyva has been named the winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. Additionally, Peter Covino has been selected as the winner of the second annual Wisconsin Prize for Poetry in Translation, for his translation of Dario Bellezza’s work. Each will receive $1,500, and their collections will be published this fall by the University of Wisconsin Press.

In addition, Emily Bludworth de Barrios has been named winner of the Four Lakes Prize in Poetry, and her collection will be published next spring, alongside finalist collections by Hedgie Choi, Caroline M. Mar, and Felicia Zamora.

Amaud Jamaul Johnson served as this year’s judge for the Brittingham and Felix Pollak prizes. Born and raised in Compton, California, he is the author of three poetry collections, Red SummerDarktown Follies, and Imperial Liquor. He is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford, MacDowell Fellow, and Cave Canem Fellow, and his honors include the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the Dorset Prize, and a Pushcart Prize. His work has appeared in The Best American PoetryAmerican Poetry ReviewNew York Times Magazine, Lit Hub, Harvard Review, and elsewhere. He is currently the Knight Family Professor of Creative Writing at Stanford University. His most recent collection, Imperial Liquor, was a finalist for the 2021 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2021 UNT Rilke Prize.

Geoffrey Brock served as the judge for this year’s Wisconsin Prize for Poetry in Translation. He is the author of three books of poems, the editor of The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Italian Poetry, and the translator of various books of poetry, prose, and comics, most recently Giuseppe Ungaretti’s Allegria, which received ALTA’s National Translation Award for Poetry. His other awards include the Raiziss/de Palchi Book Prize, the MLA Lois Roth Award, the PEN Center USA Translation Prize, and Poetry magazine’s John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Cullman Center, the NEA, and the Academy of American Poets. He teaches in the University of Arkansas Program in Creative Writing & Translation, where he is the founding editor of the Arkansas International.

Caitlin Roach’s collection, Surveille, has been awarded the Brittingham Prize in Poetry. Roach is a queer poet from Southern California. A three-time National Poetry Series finalist, her poems have appeared in Narrative Magazine, Tin House, jubilat, The Iowa ReviewPoetry Daily, Colorado Review, and Best New Poets (2023, 2021, and 2017), among others. She earned an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their two sons.

Eduardo Martínez-Leyva’s collection, Cowboy Park, has been awarded the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. Martínez-Leyva was born in El Paso, Texas, to Mexican immigrants. His work has appeared in PoetryThe Boston ReviewThe Adroit JournalFrontier PoetryThe Hopkins ReviewBest New Poets, and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from CantoMundo, the Frost Place, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Lambda Literary Foundation, along with a teaching fellowship from Columbia University, where he earned his MFA. He was the writer-in-residence at St. Alban’s School for Boys in Washington, DC, and teaches and resides in New York City.

Peter Covino’s translation of What Sex Is Death: Selected Poems of Dario Bellezza has been awarded the Wisconsin Prize for Poetry in Translation. Covino’s translation work has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Richmond American International University of London, Rome Programme. After a fourteen-year career as a social worker in the fields of AIDS services and foster care, Covino is an associate professor of English in the PhD Program at the University of Rhode Island, specializing in contemporary poetry, translation, and ethnic studies. He is also a well-published scholar, poet, editor, and author, with works that include a coedited essay collection on Italian American literature and the prize-winning poetry books The Right Place to Jump and Cut Off the Ears of Winter (2007 PEN-American Osterweil Award). Covino is the founding editor and faculty advisor of the Ocean State Review, and since 1998 a founding editor-trustee of the nonprofit press Barrow Street Inc.

Dario Bellezza (1944–96) was Italy’s first openly gay, major prize-winning poet-novelist-playwright, who died a premature death of AIDS-related complications. Over the course of a twenty-five-year career, he publishedmore than twenty books, including eight full-length poetry collections, eight novels, two plays, translations from the French, and nonfiction. Twentieth-century Italian and American literary luminaries Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alberto Moravia, Elsa Morante, Gregory Corso, and Allen Ginsberg, among others, championed his work. Significantly, Bellezza’s literary career extends two decades beyond Pasolini’s death, and he embraced his identity as an out gay man in an era of increased polemicizing of gay rights and harsh opposition by the Vatican. The sheer variety of forms, from epigram to brash love-lyric to sustained political narrative, coupled with the fervor of Bellezza’s voice make a compelling argument for his lasting importance among the best poets of the second half of the twentieth century.

Emily Bludworth de Barrios’s collection Rich Wife has been awarded the Four Lakes Prize in Poetry. Bludworth de Barrios is a poet whose previous book, Shopping, or The End of Time, received the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. Her poems have appeared in publications such as Harvard ReviewCopper NickelThe Poetry Review, and Oxford Poetry. 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, and now lives in both Houston, Texas, and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

Hedgie Choi, author of the collection Salvage, received her MFA in poetry from the Michener Center at the University of Texas at Austin and her MFA in fiction from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. Her poetry can be found in PoetryCatapultWest Branch, and elsewhere. Her fiction can be found in NoonAmerican Short FictionThe Hopkins Review, and elsewhere. She cotranslated Hysteria by Kim Yideum, which won the 2020 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize and the 2020 National Translation Award. Her translation of Pillar of Books by Moon Bo Young was published by Black Ocean in 2021.

Caroline M. Mar, author of the collection Water Guest, is the great-granddaughter of a railroad laborer and the author of Special Education and the chapbook Dream of the Lake. A high school health educator in her hometown of San Francisco, she is getting to know her new home of Oakland. Mar is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, an alumna of VONA, and a member of Rabble Collective. She has been granted residencies at Storyknife, Ragdale, and Hedgebrook, among others. 

Felicia Zamora’s collection Interstitial Archaeology will be released next spring. Zamora is the author of six books of poetry, including QuotientI Always Carry My Bones, winner of the 2020 Iowa Poetry Prize and the 2022 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; Body of Render, Benjamin Saltman Award winner; and Of Form & Gather, Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize winner. She won the 2022 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize from The Georgia Review, a 2022 Tin House Next Book Residency, and a 2022 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Academy of American Poets Poem-A-DayAGNIAlaska Quarterly ReviewThe American Poetry ReviewThe Best American Poetry 2022Boston Review, EcotoneThe Georgia ReviewGuernicaGulf CoastThe Iowa ReviewThe Kenyon ReviewThe Missouri ReviewOrionPoetry MagazineThe NationWest Branch, and others. She is an associate professor of poetry at the University of Cincinnati and a poetry editor for the Colorado Review.

Submissions for the next competition will be accepted between July 15 and September 15, 2024. 

About the University of Wisconsin Press

The University of Wisconsin Press is a not-for-profit publisher of books and journals. With more than 1,500 titles and 8,000 peer-reviewed articles in print, its mission embodies the Wisconsin Idea by publishing work of distinction that serves the people of Wisconsin and the world. 

For more information on the Wisconsin Poetry Prizes, please visit https://uwpress.wisc.edu/series/wi-poetry.html.

The University of Wisconsin Press celebrates Black History Month

The University of Wisconsin Press is proud to publish books and journals that engage with Black history, culture, and experiences. In celebration of Black History Month, the following titles will be offered at a discount all month long, with discount code BHM2024UWISC. We invite you to click on the hyperlinks below to browse our titles across genres, from narratives by enslaved Americans to works of anthropology, from history to poetry and fiction. You can also follow along on social media as we highlight some of the must-read books included here. 

How the End First Showed by D. M. Aderibigbe

Words of Witness: Black Womens Autobiography in the Post-Brown Era by Angela A. Ards

Afro-American Poetics: Revisions of Harlem and the Black Aesthetic by Houston A. Baker Jr.

The Toni Morrison Book Club by Juda Bennett, Winnifred Brown-Glaude, Cassandra Jackson, and Piper Kendrix Williams

The Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb: An American Slave by Henry Bibb, with a new introduction by Charles J. Heglar

The Blind African Slave: Or Memoirs of Boyrereau Brinch, Nicknamed Jeffrey Brace by Jeffrey Brace, as told to Benjamin F. Prentiss, Esq., edited and with an introduction by Kari J. Winter

Grace Engine by Joshua Burton

Kaiso! Writings by and about Katherine Dunham edited  by VèVè A. Clark and Sara E. Johnson

Confronting Historical Paradigms: Peasants, Labor, and the Capitalist World System in Africa and Latin America by Frederick Cooper, Allen F. Isaacman, Florencia C. Mallon, William Roseberry, and Steve J. Stern

Black Moses: The Story of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association by E. David Cronon, foreword by John Hope Franklin

The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census by Philip D. Curtin

Livin the Blues: Memoirs of a Black Journalist and Poet by Frank Marshall Davis, edited and with an introduction by John Edgar Tidwell

Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance edited by Thomas F. DeFrantz

Neither Black Nor White: Slavery and Race Relations in Brazil and the United States by Carl Degler

Against a Sharp White Background: Infrastructures of African American Print edited by Brigitte Fielder and Jonathan Senchyne

Living Black: Social Life in an African American Neighborhood by Mark S. Fleisher

Witnessing Slavery: The Development of Ante-bellum Slave Narratives by Frances Smith Foster

Conjoined Twins in Black and White: The Lives of Millie-Christine McKoy and Daisy and Violet Hilton edited by Linda Frost

Transforming Ethnographic Knowledge edited by Rebecca Hardin and Kamari Maxine Clarke

Cubans in Angola: South-South Cooperation and Transfer of Knowledge, 1976–1991 by Christine Hatzky

Race in America: The Struggle for Equality edited by Herbert Hill and James E. Jones Jr.

Black Labor and the American Legal System: Race, Work, and the Law by Herbert Hill

Harriet Tubman: The Life and the Life Stories by Jean M. Humez

Practical Audacity: Black Women and International Human Rights by Stanlie James

Understanding and Teaching American Slavery edited by Bethany Jay and Cynthia Lynn Lyerly, foreword by Ira Berlin

Understanding and Teaching the Civil Rights Movement edited by Hasan Kwame Jeffries

Last Seen by Jacqueline Jones LaMon

Reading African American Autobiography: Twenty-First-Century Contexts and Criticism edited by Eric D. Lamore

Gender Nonconformity, Race, and Sexuality: Charting the Connections edited by Toni Lester

Early African Entertainments Abroad: From the Hottentot Venus to Africas First Olympians by Bernth Lindfors

Equals in Learning and Piety: Muslim Women Scholars in Nigeria and North America by Beverly Mack

Whispers of Cruel Wrongs: The Correspondence of Louisa Jacobs and Her Circle, 18791911 edited by Mary Maillard

Way of Death: Merchant Capitalism and the Angolan Slave Trade, 1730–1830 by Joseph C. Miller

Meet Me Halfway by Jennifer Morales

Fagen: An African American Renegade in the Philippine-American War by Michael Morey

For Labor, Race, and Liberty: George Edwin Taylor, His Historic Run for the White House, and the Making of Independent Black Politics by Bruce L. Mouser

A Black Gambler’s World of Liquor, Vice, and Presidential Politics: William Thomas Scott of Illinois, 1839–1917 by Bruce L. Mouser

Òrìṣà Devotion as World Religion: The Globalization of Yorùbá Religious Culture by Jacob K. Olupona and Terry Rey

All about Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color edited by Jina Ortiz and Rochelle Spencer

A Summer Up North: Henry Aaron and the Legend of Eau Claire Baseball by Jerry Poling

Caribbean Autobiography: Cultural Identity and Self-Representation by Sandra Pouchet Paquet

After Freedom: A Cultural Study in the Deep South by Hortense Powdermaker, with a new introduction by Brackette P. Williams and Drexel Woodson

Ulysses in Black: Ralph Ellison, Classicism, and African American Literature by Patrice D. Rankine

A Mysterious Life and Calling: From Slavery to Ministry in South Carolina by Reverend Mrs. Charlotte S. Riley, edited and with an introduction by Crystal J. Lucky, foreword by Joycelyn K. Moody

Fugitive Texts: Slave Narratives in Antebellum Print Culture, by Michaël Roy, translated by Susan Pickford

A Muslim American Slave: The Life of Omar Ibn Said by Omar Ibn Said, translated by Ala Alryyes

When Whites Riot: Writing Race and Violence in American and South African Cultures by Sheila Smith McKoy

Speculators and Slaves: Masters, Traders, and Slaves in the Old South by Michael Tadman

Slavery and Race in American Popular Culture by William L. Van Deburg

Sister: An African American Life in Search of Justice by Sylvia Bell White and Jody LePage

American Sex TapeTM by Jameka Williams

Submissions now open for the Wisconsin Poetry Prizes!

The Brittingham & Felix Pollak Prizes in Poetry and the Wisconsin Prize for Poetry in Translation are now open for submissions! Please apply by September 15. Our $1,500 prizes for original poetry collections in English will be judged by Amaud Jamaul Johnson this year, and our translation prize will be judged by Geoffrey Brock. More details about this year’s judges and our manuscript requirements can be found below. Winners will be chosen by February 15, 2024, and will be published by the University of Wisconsin Press the following fall. Up to four other finalists may also be selected by the series editors to be published by the University of Wisconsin Press in the spring of 2025.

The Brittingham & Felix Pollak Prizes in Poetry

The Brittingham and Pollak Prizes are open to any book-length poetry manuscript in English that has not yet been published as a full collection. Before visiting our Submittable page (click here), please assemble a single pdf, including a title page, a table of contents, your poems, and (optionally) an acknowledgments page listing any magazines or journals where the submitted poems may have first appeared. Your name and contact info should not appear anywhere in the document or in the pdf file name. Manuscripts should be fifty to ninety pages in length on 8.5″ x 11″ pdf pages.

Simultaneous submissions are permitted, as long as the author agrees to withdraw the manuscript through Submittable if it is accepted elsewhere. If you have any questions, please first consult our FAQ. If you don’t find your answer, query series editors Sean Bishop and Jesse Lee Kercheval at poetryseries@english.wisc.edu.

The Wisconsin Prize for Poetry in Translation

Translators or original authors are invited to submit a book-length manuscript, including all poems in both their original language and their English translation, for the second annual Wisconsin Prize for Poetry in Translation. The translations submitted must be previously unpublished in book form. Simultaneous submissions are permitted, as long as the applicant withdraws the manuscript if it is accepted elsewhere. The winning manuscript will be awarded $1,500 and will be published by the University of Wisconsin Press in the fall of 2024, alongside the winners of our annual Brittingham & Felix Pollak Prizes in Poetry. Submissions will remain open until September 15, 2023, through Submittable (click here).

Applicants are asked to confirm they hold the rights to their translations, including any necessary permissions from the original publisher or poet for publication, before preparing a manuscript in pdf format, including the following:

  • A simple title page, which should include the names of the original author(s) and translator(s).
  • A table of contents, with accurate page numbers indicated.
  • 75 to 150 pages of poetry, including all poems in both their original language and translated into English, with numbered pages.
  • A biography page, including 50- to 250-word bios for each author and translator.
  • A project description that addresses the book’s historical, cultural, and/or artistic significance.
  • An acknowledgments page (optional, if any translations are previously published).

About This Year’s Judges

Amaud Jamaul Johnson will judge the Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prizes in Poetry. Born and raised in Compton, California, he is the author of three poetry collections, Red Summer (2006), Darktown Follies (2013), and Imperial Liquor (2020). He is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford, MacDowell Fellow, and Cave Canem Fellow, and his honors include the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the Dorset Prize, and a Pushcart Prize. His work has appeared in The Best American PoetryAmerican Poetry Review, the New York Times MagazineKenyon ReviewCallalooLit HubNarrative MagazineCrazyhorseIndiana Review, the Southern ReviewHarvard Review, and elsewhere. He is currently the Knight Family Professor of Creative Writing at Stanford University. Previously, he served as the Halls Bascom Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the Arthur M. and Fanny M. Dole Professor of English at Pomona College. His most recent collection, Imperial Liquor, was a finalist for the 2021 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2021 UNT Rilke Prize.

Geoffrey Brock will judge this year’s Wisconsin Prize for Poetry in Translation. He is the author of three books of poems, the editor of The FSG Book of 20th-Century Italian Poetry, and the translator of various books of poetry, prose, and comics, most recently Giuseppe Ungaretti’s Allegria, which received ALTA’s National Translation Award for Poetry. His other awards include the Raiziss/de Palchi Book Prize, the MLA Lois Roth Award, the PEN Center USA Translation Prize, and Poetry magazine’s John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Cullman Center, the NEA, and the Academy of American Poets. He teaches in the University of Arkansas Program in Creative Writing & Translation, where he is the founding editor of the Arkansas International.

About the University of Wisconsin Press

The University of Wisconsin Press is a not-for-profit publisher of books and journals. With more than  1,500 titles and 8,000 peer-reviewed articles in print, its mission embodies the Wisconsin Idea by publishing work of distinction that serves the people of Wisconsin and the world. 

For more information on the Wisconsin Poetry Prizes, please visit https://uwpress.wisc.edu/series/wi-poetry.html.

ANNOUNCING THE RESULTS OF THE WISCONSIN POETRY PRIZE COMPETITION

Out of more than 850 entrants, Tacey M. Atsitty has been selected as the winner of the Brittingham Prize in Poetry and Michael Dhyne has been named the winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. Each will receive $1,500, and their collections will be published this fall by the University of Wisconsin Press. In addition, Nick Lantz has been named winner of the Four Lakes Poetry Prize, and his collection will be published next spring. The University of Wisconsin Press will also publish finalist collections by Daniel Khalastchi, Lisa Fay Coutley, and Saúl Hernández next spring.

Eduardo C. Corral served as this year’s contest judge. Corral is the author of Guillotine, longlisted for the National Book Award, and Slow Lightning, which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition. He’s the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship, a Whiting Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. He teaches in the MFA program at North Carolina State University.

Tacey M. Atsitty, Diné (Navajo), is Tsénahabiłnii (Sleep Rock People) and born for Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle People). The recipient of numerous prizes and fellowships, Atsitty is an inaugural Indigenous Nations Poets fellow and holds degrees from Brigham Young University and the Institute of American Indian Arts as well as an MFA from Cornell University. The author of Rain Scald (University of New Mexico Press), Atsitty has also published work in POETRYEPOCHKenyon Review OnlinePoem-A-Day: Academy of American PoetsThe Hopkins ReviewShenandoanHigh Country NewsHairstreak Butterfly ReviewLiterature and BeliefLeavings, and other publications. She is the director of the Navajo Film Festival, a member of the Advisory Board for BYU’s Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, and a board member for Lightscatter Press. Atsitty is a PhD student in creative writing at Florida State University in Tallahassee, where she lives with her husband.

About the Brittingham-winning volume, James Kimbrell, author of Smote, says, “As formally seductive as it is subversive, Tacey Atsitty’s (AT) Wrist is a poetry of deep longing and praise, of loss and the courage of resilience. Anchored in an intimate vision of connectedness, her syntax works its way beyond thought’s limit, setting its hook in the terrain of memory and dream. This is a book I will return to for what no other poet I know delivers with such daring and vulnerability, a poetry wherein time, body, and the natural world are presented as a singularity otherwise known as love.”

Michael Dhyne, winner of the Felix Pollak Prize, was born and raised in California. He received an MFA from the University of Virginia, where he was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize. His poetry has appeared in The Cincinnati ReviewDenver QuarterlyGulf CoastThe Iowa ReviewThe Spectacle, and elsewhere. His work has been supported by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Community of Writers, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. He lives in Oakland and is pursuing a master’s degree in social welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. Afterlife is his first book.

About the Felix Pollak–winning volume, Debra Nystrom says, “Michael Dhyne’s Afterlife is heartbreaking and brilliant in its delicacy and its depths, and in the many ways it reaches from interior drama to range far out into the wider world. These poems carry the powerful and particular effects of a singular experience of early loss, even while they look intently at the changes that follow, and the possibilities they contain for understanding how to continue forward. The spell cast by this book ties our adult ways of moving through our lives to the primitive child-need for magic and reassurance: the longing we all know for order amid the terrors of random events, and the search, in the welter of our days, for the place or person or state of mind in which self can feel held.”

Nick Lantz is the author of four previous books of poetry, including You, Beast (winner of the Brittingham Prize) and The Lightning That Strikes the Neighbors’ House (winner of the Felix Pollak Prize). His poems have appeared in American Poetry ReviewCopper Nickel, the Gettysburg Review, the Southern Review, and other journals, as well as in the Best American Poetry anthology. His poetry has received several awards, including the Larry Levis Reading Prize, the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writer Award, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches in the MFA program at Sam Houston State University and lives in Huntsville, Texas, with his wife and cats.

Lantz’s earlier work has been reviewed in venues like NPR and Booklist. About a previous volume, Tess Taylor said on NPR’s All Things Considered, “Lantz has a knack for turning the battered material of daily life into something off-kilter, newly felt.” About another volume, Judith Kitchen wrote in the Georgia Review, “Lantz kindles his own imagination, luxuriates in speculative reverie, and indulges in rhetorical maneuvers that are openly innovative. . . . Again and again Lantz’s poems make moves that surprise, and illuminate.”

Daniel Khalastchi is an Iraqi Jewish American. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a former fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, he is the author of three previous books of poetry—Manoleria (Tupelo Press), Tradition (McSweeney’s), and American Parables (University of Wisconsin Press, winner of the Brittingham Prize). His work has appeared in numerous publications, including American Poetry ReviewThe Believer Logger, Colorado ReviewGrantaThe Iowa Review, the Jewish Book Council’s Paper Brigade, and Best American Experimental Writing. A recent visiting assistant professor at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he currently lives in Iowa City, where he directs the University of Iowa’s Magid Center for Writing. He is the cofounder and managing editor of Rescue Press. The Story of Your Obstinate Survival is his fourth book. 

“Like a new angel of history, The Story of Your Obstinate Survival arrives with its wings heavy with live fish and doorknobs, shovels and bone cake, faith and desire. Khalastchi has turned the poem into a long, beautiful wail, soft and brilliant enough for even Babel and Kafka and Singer to hear. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out Khalastchi feeds each poem by hand, and brushes nightly their wings. With as much abandon as with hope, these poems sway on the edge of a miracle,” says Sabrina Orah Mark.

Lisa Fay Coutley is the author of tether (Black Lawrence Press); Errata (Southern Illinois University Press), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition; In the Carnival of Breathing (Black Lawrence Press), winner of the Black River Chapbook Competition; and Small Girl: Micromemoirs (Harbor Editions); and the editor of the grief anthology In the Tempered Dark: Contemporary Poets Transcending Elegy (Black Lawrence Press). She is the recipient of an NEA Literature Fellowship; an Academy of American Poets Larry Levis Memorial Poetry Prize, chosen by Dana Levin; and a Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, selected by Natalie Diaz. Recent prose and poetry appears in BarrelhouseBrevityCopper Nickel, Gulf Coast, and North American Review. She is an associate professor of poetry and creative nonfiction in the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the chapbook series editor at Black Lawrence Press.  

Trey Moody says, “Part elegy to the Anthropocene, part case study of internet-era loneliness, the metaphorical relationships woven throughout HOST’s poignant, timely, and necessary poems are many: mother host to son, woman host to patriarchy, flower host to human pleasure, earth host to people’s waste. Among these layered threats to the body and the planet, there’s a plea for repair, for reclamation, as one speaker asks, ‘did you hear me / agree to be an island?’ Here we have a poet at the height of her craft, skillfully rendering the essential dispatches we all need to hear.”

Saúl Hernández is a queer writer from San Antonio, Texas, who was raised by undocumented parents. He has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Texas at El Paso. He’s the winner of a Pleiades Prufer Poetry Prize, judged by Joy Priest; and a Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize, chosen by Victoria Chang. His poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Hernández’s work is forthcoming or featured in PleiadesFrontier PoetryPoet LoreFoglifter JournalOyster River PagesCherry Tree, and elsewhere.

In How to Kill a Goat & Other Monsters, Saúl Hernández stitches together torn scraps of myth and faith, displacement and violence, love and the queer body into a rich quilt, a gorgeous poetic coming-of-age story that is both universal and his alone. This is a moving and special book, one to read, to gift to friends, to reread,” says Jesse Lee Kercheval, coeditor of the Wisconsin Poetry Series and author of I Want To Tell You.

Submissions for the next competition will be accepted between July 15 and September 15, 2023. 

About the University of Wisconsin Press

The University of Wisconsin Press is a not-for-profit publisher of books and journals. With nearly 1,500 titles and over 8,000 peer-reviewed articles in print, its mission embodies the Wisconsin Idea by publishing work of distinction that serves the people of Wisconsin and the world. 

For more information on the Wisconsin Poetry Prizes, please visit https://uwpress.wisc.edu/series/wi-poetry.html.

ANNOUNCING THE RESULTS OF THE WISCONSIN POETRY SERIES’ INAUGURAL TRANSLATION COMPETITION

Out of 65 entrants, Katherine M. Hedeen and Olivia Lott have been selected as the winners of the Wisconsin Poetry Series’ inaugural translation competition, for their translation of three volumes of Venezuelan poet Juan Calzadilla’s work, Dictated by the PackBad Manners, and The Supernatural Contradictions. They will receive $1,500, and the collection will be published this fall by the University of Wisconsin Press. In addition, Bill Johnston has been named a finalist, and his translation of Polish poet Julia Fiedorczuk’s Psalms will also be published this fall.

Forrest Gander, a Pulitzer Prize–winning writer and the translator of more than twenty books, served as the judge of this year’s contest. Gander’s latest book is Twice Alive: An Ecology of Intimacies. Among his recent translations are It Must Be a Misunderstanding by Coral Bracho, Names and Rivers by Shuri Kido (with Tomoyuki Endo), Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda Poems, and Spectacle & Pigsty by Kiwao Nomura, winner of the Best Translated Book Award. Gander’s essays have appeared in The Nation, the Boston Review, and the New York Times Book Review. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Library of Congress; the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Guggenheim, Howard, United States Artists, and Whiting Foundations.

Katherine M. Hedeen is a translator and essayist. A specialist in Latin American poetry, she has translated some of the most respected voices from the region into English. Her latest book-length translations include prepoems in postspanish by Jorgenrique Adoum, Book of the Cold by Antonio Gamoneda, Every Beat Is Secret by Fina García Marruz, Almost Obscene by Raúl Gómez Jattin, and rebel matter by Víctor Rodríguez Núñez. Her work has been a finalist for both the Best Translated Book Award and the National Translation Award. She is a recipient of two NEA Translation Grants in the US and a PEN Translates award in the UK. A managing editor for Action Books, Hedeen is a professor of Spanish at Kenyon College. More information can be found at www.katherinemhedeen.com.

Olivia Lott is a translator and literary scholar. She is the translator or co-translator of Raúl Gómez Jattin’s Almost Obscene, Lucía Estrada’s Katabasis, and Soleida Ríos’s The Dirty Text. Her translations have received recognitions from the Academy of American Poets, PEN America, and Words Without Borders. She holds a PhD in Hispanic studies and is a specialist in 1960s Latin America, neo-avant-garde poetry and poetics, and translation studies; her scholarly writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from PMLARevista Hispánica Moderna, and Translation Studies. Lott is a visiting assistant professor of Spanish at Washington and Lee University. More information can be found at www.oliviamlott.com.

Juan Calzadilla is one of Venezuela’s most celebrated poets, painters, and art critics. He is the author of more than twenty books of poetry and, in 1996, was awarded Venezuela’s National Prize for the Visual Arts. His work, across both mediums, is characterized by political consciousness and formal innovation; prominent images include the surrealist chaos of urban space, the violent dehumanization of uneven modernity, and the abject probing of social and aesthetic status quos. In 1961, he cofounded the radical neo-avant-garde collective El Techo de la Ballena (The Roof of the Whale). This omnibus volume brings together the three poetry collections he published with the group between 1962 and 1967, and it marks the first U.S. edition of Calzadilla’s work available in English-language translation.

About the winning collection, Gander says, “Venezuelan poet Juan Calzadilla, cofounder of The Roof of the Whale—one of those sthenic artistic collectives bent on waking up the staid cultures of various Latin American countries during the sixties and seventies—addressed his poems to a specific audience during a momentous time; and yet his poems feel as though they were written last week precisely for us. Unvarnished, unimproved, shamanistic, his poems exude a raw, tumultuous energy that legendary translator Katherine Hedeen and her savvy co-translator Olivia Lott catch every drop of. But be careful, reader. Don’t start this book at night; you not only won’t sleep a wink, but you may find yourself far from home—as far as the Caracas of your imagination—rushing through ill-lit streets in a frenzy.”

Bill Johnston received the 2019 National Translation Award in Poetry for his rendering of Adam Mickiewicz’s epic narrative poem in rhyming couplets, Pan Tadeusz. He has translated more than forty books from Polish and French, including work by Tadeusz Różewicz, Wiesław Myśliwski, Tomasz Różycki, Jean Giono, and Jeanne Benameur. His other awards include the Best Translated Book Award, the PEN Translation Prize, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He teaches literary translation at Indiana University.

Julia Fiedorczuk is one of Poland’s leading poets. She was awarded the 2018 Szymborska Prize, Poland’s most prestigious poetry award, for Psalmy (Psalms), and has received many other honors, including the Hubert Burda Prize and the Polish Association of Book Publishers award for best debut. The author of six volumes of poetry, two novels, a collection of short stories, and three critical books, Fiedorczuk is a professor of American studies and a cofounder of the Environmental Humanities Center at Warsaw University. Her work, both creative and academic, focuses on the relationship between humans and their more-than-human environments. Her poems have been translated into many languages, including books in Swedish, Spanish, Ukrainian, Serbian, and English. Her poetry collection Oxygen, also translated by Bill Johnston, was published by Zephyr Books in 2017. Fiedorczuk has also translated the poetry of numerous American poets, including Wallace Stevens, Laura Riding, and Forrest Gander.

“Winner of the Szymborska Prize, Poland’s most prestigious poetry award, Julia Fiedorczuk is, deservingly, an international literary star who writes distinctively across genres,” Gander says. “In this innovative, formally restless collection, the divine and bacterial, children and rivers, war and eros mix—kaleidoscopically—in unsettling poems that serve as hymns to the sacrality of life—all life, even the life of rocks. Somehow, I don’t know how, Johnston’s translation catches the music, the vowel rhyme, the staggered, restless phrasings of the originals, and Fiedorczuk’s poignant, broken tones of supplication and gratitude.”

Winners of this year’s Felix Pollak, Brittingham, and Four Lakes Prizes—as well as the runners-up—will be announced later this winter. Submissions for the next Wisconsin Poetry Series competition open on July 15, 2023. 

About the University of Wisconsin Press

The University of Wisconsin Press is a not-for-profit publisher of books and journals. With nearly 1,500 titles and over 8,000 peer-reviewed articles in print, its mission embodies the Wisconsin Idea by publishing work of distinction that serves the people of Wisconsin and the world. 

The Wisconsin Poetry Series was founded in 1985 by series editor Ron Wallace. Current series editors are Sean Bishop and Jesse Lee Kercheval. For more information on the series and the Wisconsin Poetry Prizes, please visit https://uwpress.wisc.edu/series/wi-poetry.html

Submissions now open for Wisconsin Poetry Prizes!

The Wisconsin Prize for Poetry in Translation

Submissions are now open for the first annual Wisconsin Prize for Poetry in Translation! Our inaugural judge will be Forrest Gander, a Pulitzer Prize–winning writer and the translator of more than twenty books. Gander is also a winner of the Best Translated Book Award and grants from the PEN Translation Fund.

Translators or original authors are invited to submit a book-length manuscript, including all poems in both their original language and their English translation. The translations submitted must be previously unpublished in book form. Simultaneous submissions are permitted as long as the applicant withdraws the manuscript if it is accepted elsewhere. The winning manuscript will be awarded $1,500 and will be published by the University of Wisconsin Press in the spring of 2024, alongside the winners of our annual Brittingham & Felix Pollak Prizes in Poetry. Submissions will remain open until September 15, 2022, through Submittable (click here).

Applicants are asked to confirm they hold the rights to their translations before preparing a manuscript in pdf format, including the following:

  • A simple title page, which should include the names of the original author(s) and translator(s).
  • A table of contents, with accurate page numbers indicated.
  • 75 to 150 pages of poetry, including all poems in both their original language and translated into English, with numbered pages.
  • A biography page, including 50- to 250-word bios for each author and translator.
  • A project description that addresses the book’s historical, cultural, and/or artistic significance.
  • An acknowledgments page (optional, if any translations are previously published).

Submit to the Brittingham & Felix Pollak Prizes

The Brittingham & Felix Pollak Prizes in Poetry are now open for submission as well! This year’s $1,500 prizes will be judged by National Book Award long-lister and Yale Series of Younger Poets prizewinner Eduardo C. Corral. Any poet with an original, full-length, yet-to-be-published collection is eligible, and each submitted manuscript will be considered for both prizes. The winners and up to four other finalists will have their books published as part of the University of Wisconsin Press’s Wisconsin Poetry Series. This year’s submission deadline is Thursday, September 15.

Before visiting our Submittable page, please assemble a single pdf including a title page, a table of contents, your poems, and (optionally) an acknowledgments page listing any magazines or journals where the submitted poems may have first appeared. Your name and contact info should not appear anywhere in the document, or in the pdf file name. Manuscripts should be fifty to ninety pages in length on 8.5″ x 11″ pdf pages.

Simultaneous submissions are permitted as long as the author agrees to withdraw the manuscript via the submissions manager if it is accepted elsewhere. If you have any questions, please first consult our FAQ. If you don’t find your answer, query series editors Sean Bishop and Jesse Lee Kercheval at poetryseries@english.wisc.edu.

About This Year’s Judges

Forrest Gander, a Pulitzer Prize–winning writer and translator with degrees in geology and literature, was born in the Mojave Desert and lives in northern California. His most recent book is Twice Alive: An Ecology of Intimacies. Among his recent translations are It Must Be a Misunderstanding by Coral Bracho, Names and Rivers by Shuri Kido (with Tomoyuki Endo), Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda Poems, and Spectacle & Pigsty by Kiwao Nomura, winner of the Best Translated Book Award. Gander’s essays have appeared in The Nation, the Boston Review, and the New York Times Book Review. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim, Howard, United States Artists, and Whiting Foundations.

Eduardo C. Corral is the author of Guillotine, longlisted for the National Book Award, and Slow Lightning, which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition. He’s the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship, a Whiting Writer’s Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. He teaches in the MFA program at North Carolina State University.

About the University of Wisconsin Press

The University of Wisconsin Press is a not-for-profit publisher of books and journals. With nearly 1,500 titles and over 8,000 peer-reviewed articles in print, its mission embodies the Wisconsin Idea by publishing work of distinction that serves the people of Wisconsin and the world. 

For more information on the Wisconsin Poetry Prizes, please visit https://uwpress.wisc.edu/series/wi-poetry.html.

ANNOUNCING CHANGES TO THE WISCONSIN POETRY SERIES: NEW EDITORSHIP, NEW TRANSLATION PRIZE

The University of Wisconsin Press and the Creative Writing Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison today announced that Ron Wallace, founding editor of the Wisconsin Poetry Series, has stepped down as editor of the series. Jesse Lee Kercheval has joined Sean Bishop as series coeditor, effective early 2022.

Founder and former director of UW’s Program in Creative Writing, Ron Wallace is Felix Pollak Professor Emeritus of Poetry and Halls-Bascom Professor of English at UW–Madison. In 1985, Professor Wallace proposed the idea of a poetry prize to then UW Press director Allen Fitchen, and the Brittingham Prize was established. Creation of the Felix Pollak and Four Lakes Prizes followed. Sean Bishop began working on the series a number of years ago; in recognition of his efforts and contributions, he was named coeditor in 2019. The series receives nearly 1,000 submissions annually. 

Series founder Ron Wallace, who retires from his editorship after thirty-seven years, is the author of several scholarly books and a book of short stories as well as nine full-length books of poetry and eight chapbooks of poetry and fiction. His most recent poetry collections are The Uses of AdversityLong for This World: New & Selected Poems, For a Limited Time Only, and For Dear Life, and he is the author of a major anthology, Vital Signs: Contemporary Poetry from the University Presses. Hailed for his wit, good humor, and observational powers, Professor Wallace has been the recipient of such awards as the Banta Book Prize, the Posner Book-Length Poetry Award, and the Wisconsin Library Association Outstanding Achievement Award. His numerous accolades include three UW distinguished teaching awards and the George Garrett Award from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. 

Sean Bishop says, “Ron Wallace has been the heart of the Wisconsin Poetry Series for almost forty years, expanding the series from just one slim volume per year to six annual titles. Ron prided himself on reading at least a portion of every book submitted to our annual competition—roughly twenty-five thousand manuscripts in the lifetime of the series—and his personal notes to applicants were legendary for their insight and generosity. Incoming editor Jesse Lee Kercheval and I are excited to carry Ron’s legacy forward for many years to come, and we hope we can live up to his stunning precedent.”

Incoming series coeditor Jesse Lee Kercheval, Zona Gale Emeritus Professor of English at UW–Madison, is the author of six collections of poetry as well as a translator. Her latest poetry collections are America that island off the coast of France (Tupelo Press, 2019), winner of the Dorset Prize; and La crisis es el cuerpo, translated by Ezequiel Zaidenwerg (Editorial Bajo la luna, Argentina, 2021). Her collection I Want to Tell You is forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press. As a translator, she specializes in Uruguayan and South American poetry; her translations include Love Poems by Idea Vilariño (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020), which was long-listed for the PEN Translation AwardShe is also the editor of several anthologies, including América invertida: An Anthology of Emerging Uruguayan Poets (University of New Mexico Press, 2016). She has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts in both fiction and translation.

Along with the editorial changes, the University of Wisconsin Press also announced the establishment of a new prize for a collection of poetry in translation. The winning collection will be published in the series, alongside the winners of the Brittingham, Felix Pollak, and Four Lakes Prizes and three finalist collections. Manuscripts submitted for the translation prize will be judged during the same period as those submitted for the other prizes, and the winner will receive a $1,500 prize in addition to publication in the series.

“Over the years, I’ve watched with great admiration as Ron Wallace built the Wisconsin Poetry Series,” says Jesse Lee Kercheval. “As he steps down, I am honored to become coeditor of the series with Sean Bishop and, as a translator and poet, truly excited for the launch of the new translation prize.”

“It is with mixed emotions that I face this transition in the leadership of the Wisconsin Poetry Series. Joy over having the opportunity to work with Ron for several years, and sadness that those days are coming to an end. I have learned so much from him as an editor, watching the way he celebrates strong work and encourages authors to improve to find their greatest potential,” says UW Press director Dennis Lloyd. “At the same time, I’m very enthusiastic about working with Sean and Jesse Lee in the years to come, especially as we launch the new poetry in translation prize. With this announcement, we’ve managed to complete a long-planned goal of increasing the annual output of the series from three titles to seven.”

The winners of this year’s competition were announced earlier this month. Submissions for the next competition, including the first translation prize, will be accepted between July 15 and September 15, 2022. 

About the University of Wisconsin Press

The University of Wisconsin Press is a not-for-profit publisher of books and journals. With nearly 1,500 titles and over 8,000 peer-reviewed articles in print, its mission embodies the Wisconsin Idea by publishing work of distinction that serves the people of Wisconsin and the world. 

For more information on the Wisconsin Poetry Prizes, please visit https://uwpress.wisc.edu/series/wi-poetry.html.

ANNOUNCING THE RESULTS OF THE WISCONSIN POETRY PRIZE COMPETITION

Out of more than 900 entrants, Jameka Williams has been selected as the winner of the Brittingham Prize in Poetry and Emily Bludworth de Barrios has been named the winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. Each will receive $1,500, and their collections will be published this fall by the University of Wisconsin Press. In addition, Betsy Sholl has been named winner of the Four Lakes Poetry Prize, and her collection also will be published this fall. Next spring, the University of Wisconsin Press will publish finalist collections by Joshua Burton, Dante di Stefano, and Celeste Lipkes.

Brian Teare, editor of Albion Books, served as this year’s contest judge. He is the author of six poetry collections, including Doomstead Days (2019), which was longlisted for the National Book Award and named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Empty Form Goes All the Way to Heaven (2015); and Companion Grasses (2013).

Jameka Williams holds an MFA in poetry from Northwestern University. Her poetry has been published in Prelude MagazineGigantic SequinsMuzzle MagazineYemassee JournalTupelo QuarterlyJet Fuel Review, and Oyez Review, among others. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she has performed her poetry at AWP in 2016 and POETRY Magazine’s Open Door Reading Series in 2021. She is a Best New Poets 2020 finalist, published annually by the University of Virginia, and is featured in New American Press’s New Poetry of the Midwest 2019. She resides in Chicago, Illinois. 

About the Brittingham-winning volume, Brian Teare says, “Split between the love of watching and the fear created by it, American Sex Tape guides us through celebrity’s media empire, where ‘men / are cameras’ and the objectified self reproduces the dominant culture one selfie at a time. ‘I think a lot about empires,’ Jameka Williams writes, ‘& how I am supposed / to finish erecting this one,’ before she demolishes misogynist, racist logic with weaponized line breaks and wrecking-ball wit. And then does something stranger, braver: she looks into the camera. Because this is a book about taking back power, it’s also about the thin line between pleasure and collusion. ‘I love to see it,’ she admits, ‘I love to live inside that camera’s eye orgasm.’ Complex and messy and necessary in all the ways sex is, American Sex Tape is brilliant Black feminist truth.”

Emily Bludworth de Barrios, winner of the Felix Pollak Prize, 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 poems have recently appeared in publications such as the Poetry ReviewHarvard Review, and the Cincinnati Review. She was raised in Houston, Cairo, and Caracas, and now lives in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, with her husband and three children. 

“Marrying novelistic breadth and autobiographical intimacy, Shopping or The End of Time invents a new poetic genre: the sociolyric,” says Brian Teare. “Impersonal and personal at once, these poems shift from collective to individual experience with dizzying rapidity. Their deft lines jump-cut across social experiences connected inequitably by a consumer culture thriving on violence against women and the Earth’s accelerating destruction. And yet buying power is ‘such an intricate trick that we felt that we were finally entering ourselves,’ Emily Bludworth de Barrios writes, ‘our human inheritance.’ Refusing to remain fooled about the ways our psyches are manipulated by capitalism and complicit with its destructive power, her speakers insist on documenting the pleasures and collateral damage of such inheritance, each ‘jagged poem’ fashioned ‘to put the remnants in.’ This is an innovative collection with impressive critical and emotional range.”

Betsy Sholl’s As if a Song Could Save You, winner of the Four Lakes Poetry Prize, will also be published this fall. Sholl is the author of nine previous poetry collections, including House of Sparrows: New and Selected Poems (winner of the 2019 Four Lakes Prize), Otherwise Unseeable (winner of the 2014 Four Lakes Prize), Rough CradleLate PsalmDon’t Explain (winner of the 1997 Felix Pollak Prize), and The Red Line. A former poet laureate of Maine, Sholl teaches at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

“Attuned as she is to harmony—musical, spiritual, earthly—Sholl weaves seemingly miscellaneous notes into vibrant wholes. She references Dante more than once and it’s apt, for she is very much a pilgrim, someone who conveys the feeling of being in it—the tangle that is a moment, a street scene, a biblical incident. It could be anything—and is—and that is a key to her achievement, her openness to the ways of being, the here and now, the terribly lost and barely found.  Great compassion marks these poems, that inestimable talent for tracing the ways of kinship, how one occasion graces another,” says Baron Wormser.

Joshua Burton is a poet and educator from Houston, Texas, and received his MFA in poetry at Syracuse University. He is a 2019 Tin House Winter Workshop Scholar, 2019 Juniper Summer Writing Institute scholarship winner, and 2019 Center for African American Poetry and Poetics fellowship finalist. He received the Honorable Mention for the 2018 Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize and was a 2020 Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing finalist. His work can be found in Mississippi ReviewGulf CoastThe RumpusConduit, and TriQuarterly, and is forthcoming in Black Warrior ReviewGrist, and Indiana Review. He has a chapbook forthcoming in the fall of 2022. Mary Karr says, “No poet I’ve worked with in forty years’ teaching has wowed me more with his talent & smarts & heart than young Joshua Burton. His first collection, Grace Engine, is destined to be this year’s star debut.”

Brian Teare adds, “Grace Engine documents the ravages of internalized antiblackness in restless lines whose ‘Language is like a month ending / with a fire.’ To aid in reclaiming himself from Black social and literal death, Joshua Burton assembles an archive of Black men whose minds were troubled by antiblackness and Black folks whose lives were ended by it. In confronting textual and visual evidence of white supremacy, in placing family history alongside it, his speakers confront the decision of whether to stay in a world inseparable from racist violence. Ultimately coming to understand ‘how much my indecision is decision,’ he enters into a tentative, complex relation with Black aliveness. Burton might write ‘in the language of breakdown,’ but his speakers ‘choose to fill my hands with stay here.’ The way to bless once meant to mark with blood, this book is both balm and wound.”

Dante Di Stefano is the author of three previous poetry collections: Love Is a Stone Endlessly in FlightIll Angels, and Lullaby with Incendiary Device, which was published in a three-in-one volume titled Generations, also featuring work by William Heyen and H. L. Hix.  

Along with María Isabel Álvarez, he coedited the anthology Misrepresented People: Poetic Responses to Trump’s America.  The poetry editor for the DIALOGIST, Di Stefano holds a PhD in English Literature from Binghamton University. He teaches high school English in Upstate New York and lives in Endwell, New York, with his wife, Christina; their daughter, Luciana; their son, Dante; and their dog, Sunny. Di Stefano’s book-length poem, Midwhistle, is a sprawling digressive love note to an unborn son, a map of the anxieties and ecstasies of poetic influence, and an exploration of selfhood and memory in an era of pandemic, social upheaval, and political uncertainty, written in stepped septasyllabic cinquains, a form he invented. 

H. L. Hix says, “Midwhistle proves Dante Di Stefano ‘a child / of cello, air, & mint spears.’  In this refulgent homage, Di Stefano honors ‘what loves / have been thrummed forth & nurtured / into shining’ by poet William Heyen’s august work and person. Surely any reader will leave this book, as I did, more alert and alive, more ‘in love / with the gray undersides of / mulberry leaves & the way / the grass ekes toward twilight.’”

Celeste Lipkes is a writer and psychiatrist residing in Asheville, North Carolina. Prior to medical school, she received an MFA in poetry from the University of Virginia. Radium Girl is her first book. 

Lisa Spaar says, “In the breathtaking ‘escape room’ of Celeste Lipkes’s Radium Girl, our ardent guide dons, by turns, the snow-flaked robe of patient, the white coat of physician, the lustrous cape of magician.  The word ‘magic’ is rooted in the PIE ‘magh’—‘to be able, to have power’—and in this radiant debut,  body and mystery exchange their secrets about what can and cannot be controlled—in illness, in love, and in the salvific art of poetry itself.”

Submissions for the next competition will be accepted between July 15 and September 15, 2022. 

About the University of Wisconsin Press

The University of Wisconsin Press is a not-for-profit publisher of books and journals. With nearly 1,500 titles and over 8,000 peer-reviewed articles in print, its mission embodies the Wisconsin Idea by publishing work of distinction that serves the people of Wisconsin and the world. 

For more information on the Wisconsin Poetry Prizes, please visit https://uwpress.wisc.edu/series/wi-poetry.html.

Announcing the Results of the Wisconsin Poetry Prize Competition

Out of over 950 entrants, Daniel Khalastchi has been selected as the winner of the Brittingham Prize in Poetry and Joshua Nguyen has been named the winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. Each will receive $1,000, and their collections will be published this fall by the University of Wisconsin Press. Judith Vollmer has been awarded the Four Lakes Poetry Prize; her collection will be published next spring along with finalist collections by Emily Rose Cole and Laura Villareal.

Carmen Giménez Smith, editor of The Nation’s poetry section and codirector of CantoMundo, served as this year’s contest judge. Her collections include National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Milk and Filth (2010) and Be Recorder (2020), which was shortlisted for both the National Book Award and the PEN Open Book Award.

Photo by Barry Phipps. Picture of Daniel Khalastchi with long curly hair and beard, wearing dark-rimmed glasses and navy jacket, sitting in a Herman Miller chair and looking seriously at the camera.

Daniel Khalastchi is the author of Manoleria and Tradition. A former fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Daniel earned his MFA from the University of Iowa, where he currently directs the Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing. His poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including The Rumpus, Poetry Northwest, and The Iowa Review. Giménez Smith praises the Brittingham-winning volume, “When the world is turned upside down, when vaccines are 5G and democracy is fascism and insurrection is freedom of speech, satire is often the most acute mirror to interpret an age. Vivid, bleak, and startling, American Parables is an allegorical masterpiece of mordant irony I plan to carry with me in this uncertain post-JAN6 era.”

Photo by Elisa J. Fuhrken of Joshua Nguyen with dark spiked up hair wearing two-tone black and clear framed glasses, wearing a gray shirt with a tan corduroy jacket, standing in a green woodsy area, looking into the camera and laughing.

Joshua Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American writer from Houston. He received his MFA from the University of Mississippi, where he is currently pursuing his PhD. His work has been published in The Texas Review, Crab Orchard Review, and Gulf Coast, among others. Come Clean, winner of the Felix Pollak prize, is his first full-length collection. Giménez Smith says, “I am so deeply moved by the subdued lyric force of this collection, if only subdued could capture the elegant control Nguyen exerts on his line. Sensuously constructed, in Come Clean he looks at the vast landscape of history through the desire for Marie Kondo’s order and a cure for imposter’s syndrome, in a book that’s as current as it is timeless.”

Judith Vollmer pictured with gray hair streaked elegantly with white, wearing a pair of cat-eyed black glasses and a white shirt, looking at the camera and smiling.

Judith Vollmer is the author of five previous collections, including The Apollonia Poems, which won the Four Lakes Prize four years ago. Her winning collection, The Sound Boat, features new and selected poems from her earlier volumes. Her writing has appeared in Poetry International, The Women’s Review of Books, The Georgia Review, and elsewhere. She is a professor emerita of English at the University of Pittsburgh–Greensburg and teaches in the MFA Program at Carlow University. According to Lawrence Joseph, “From the deeply moral and radical qualities of her first book to spectacular new poems, Vollmer has created a body of work singular in American poetry. With the sense, intellect, sound, tone, rhythm and music only the most real and truest poetry provides, The Sound Boat embodies, on every level, the regions of the human soul.”

Black and white photograph of Emily Rose Cole with long hair parted deeply wearing a black v-neck t-shirt and a delicate silver chain necklace, smiling and seated, looking to the right and into the camera.

Emily Rose Cole will also have her collection, Thunderhead, published as part of the series. She holds an MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and is a PhD candidate in poetry with an emphasis in disability studies at the University of Cincinnati. Her poems have appeared in American Life in Poetry, Poet Lore, and the Los Angeles Review, among others. Judy Jordan praises Thunderhead, saying, “Fiercely imaginative, these heart-wrenching, lyric narrative poems are haunted by the body as a depository for trauma, the body with cancer, the body with MS, the body cut open and sacrificed, teaching us that grief comes from love while transforming us with exquisite and beautiful language that is simply breathtaking.”

Photo of Laura Villareal with dark long hair parted to the side, wearing large tortoise shell rimmed glasses on the bridge of her nose, wearing a pale yellow shirt and light blue overalls. She is smiling at the camera and standing next to an orange fruit tree with green leaves.

Girl’s Guide to Leaving is the forthcoming collection by Laura Villareal, a Stadler Fellow and a National Book Critics Circle Emerging Critic. She earned her MFA from Rutgers University-Newark and her writing has appeared in AGNI, Black Warrior Review, Waxwing, and elsewhere. Giménez Smith says, “A folklore troubadour, Villareal ably unfolds a path through memory. Running wild and running home, this guide isn’t just for leaving but rather for making space in sites where one can ‘witness local miracles’ or to tell a heroine’s story without remorse. This is a rangy and ambitious book I can’t wait to see in print.”

Submissions for the next competition will be accepted between July 15 and September 15, 2021.

About the University of Wisconsin Press
The University of Wisconsin Press is a not-for-profit publisher of books and journals. With nearly 1,500 titles and over 8,000 peer-reviewed articles in print, its mission embodies the Wisconsin Idea by publishing work of distinction that serves the people of Wisconsin and the world.

For more information on the Wisconsin Poetry Prizes, please visit https://uwpress.wisc.edu/series/wi-poetry.html

Submissions open for the Brittingham & Felix Pollak Prizes, Judged by Carmen Giménez Smith

Carmen Giménez Smith standing in front of brick wall

The University of Wisconsin Press and the UW-Madison Program in Creative Writing are excited to announce that National Book Award Finalist Carmen Giménez Smith will judge this year’s Brittingham & Felix Pollak Prizes in Poetry. Any poet with an original, full-length, yet-to-be-published collection is eligible. Each manuscript will be considered for both $1,000 prizes. The winners and up to three finalists will have their books published as part of the University of Wisconsin Press’s Wisconsin Poetry Series. Submissions are open, and this year’s deadline is Tuesday, September 15.

Before visiting our Submittable page, please assemble a single pdf including a title page, a table of contents, your poems, and (optionally) an acknowledgments page listing any magazines or journals where the submitted poems may have first appeared. Your name and contact info should not appear anywhere in the document, or in the pdf file name. Manuscripts should be fifty to ninety pages in length on 8.5″ x 11″ pdf pages.

Simultaneous submissions are permitted, as long as the author agrees to withdraw the manuscript via the submissions manager if it is accepted elsewhere. If you have any questions, please first consult our FAQ. If you don’t find your answer, query Series Editors Sean Bishop and Ron Wallace at poetryseries@english.wisc.edu.

Recent titles in the Wisconsin Poetry Series

  • Cover image for Ganbatte
  • Cover image for If the House
  • Cover image of Gloss
  • Cover image of Dear Terror, Dear Splendor
  • Cover image for House of Sparrows

About This Year’s Judge
Carmen Giménez Smith is a former Guggenheim Fellow and the author of a memoir and six poetry collections, including Milk and Filth, a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry and Be Recorder, a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN Open Book Award. She was awarded an American Book Award for Bring Down the Little Birds and the Juniper Prize for Poetry for her collection Goodbye, Flicker. She is the publisher of Noemi Press. With Steph Burt, she is the poetry editor of The Nation.

UW Press Colophon

About the University of Wisconsin Press
The University of Wisconsin Press is a not-for-profit publisher of books and journals. With nearly 1,500 titles and over 8,000 peer-reviewed articles in print, its mission embodies the Wisconsin Idea by publishing work of distinction that serves the people of Wisconsin and the world.

For more information on the Wisconsin Poetry Prizes, please visit https://uwpress.wisc.edu/series/wi-poetry.html