Category Archives: University of Wisconsin Press News

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.

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.

Submission Period Now Open for George L. Mosse First Book Prize

The University of Wisconsin Press and the George L. Mosse Program in History are pleased to announce that the submission period is now open for this year’s Mosse First Book Prize.

The prize was established in 2020 to honor Mosse’s commitment to scholarship and to mentoring new generations of historians. Winning books are published as part of the George L. Mosse Series in the History of European Culture, Sexuality, and Ideas, and the recipient receives a $5,000 prize, payable in two installments. An honorable mention winner may also be selected to receive a $1,000 prize and publication.

“George L. Mosse was a prolific and innovative scholar who significantly enriched our understanding of multiple aspects of European history: cultural symbolism and intellectual history, fascism and gender, Jewish and LGBTQ+ history. He was also a legendary mentor to aspiring scholars,” says series advisor David Sorkin. “This prize perpetuates George’s dual legacy of scholarship and mentorship by rewarding the next generation of historians with the opportunity to publish an outstanding monograph with the University of Wisconsin Press.”

The prize is open to original, previously unpublished monographs of historical scholarship in English (whether written in English or translated), and aims to support and engage early-career scholars writing on topics related to the history of European culture, sexuality, or ideas.

According to UW Press editor in chief Nathan MacBrien, “This is an opportunity for UW Press to acknowledge the innovative work of an early career scholar and for the selected author to publish a book that will reach a broad audience of scholars and students.”

Proposals will be accepted between March 15 and August 1, 2023; all submissions will be reviewed by the Press and series advisors. A short list of finalists will be chosen in August 2023, and those manuscripts will be read by a jury of expert readers, who will select the winning project. The winner will be announced after successful peer review of the manuscript and final approval for publication by the Press.

Entrants should begin by sending a proposal to UW Press editor in chief Nathan MacBrien, at macbrien@wisc.edu. The subject line should contain “Mosse First Book Prize” as well as the author’s last name and a keyword. Please do not send the complete manuscript until requested to do so. Proposals should follow the guidelines detailed at https://uwpress.wisc.edu/proposal.html and should include the following elements:

  • the scope and rationale for the book and its main contributions, 
  • how the work fits with the Mosse Series, 
  • the audience and market for the book, 
  • the manuscript’s word count, 
  • an annotated table of contents, 
  • two sample chapters (ideally an introductory chapter and one interior chapter), and 
  • a curriculum vitae. 

Please note whether the book is under consideration elsewhere at the time of prize submission; work submitted for consideration must not be under contract elsewhere and should be complete at the time of submission.

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.

About the George L. Mosse Series in the History of European Culture, Sexuality, and Ideas

The Mosse series promotes the vibrant international collaboration and community that historian George L. Mosse created during his lifetime by publishing major innovative works by outstanding scholars in European cultural and intellectual history.

About George L. Mosse

A legendary scholar, teacher, and mentor, Mosse (1918–1999) joined the Department of History at UW–Madison in 1955. He was an early leader in the study of modern European culture, fascism, and the history of sexuality and masculinity. In 1965 Mosse was honored for his exceptional teaching by being named UW’s first John C. Bascom Professor. He remained famous among students and colleagues for his popular and engaging lectures, which were often standing-room only. A Jewish refugee from prewar Germany, Mosse was appointed a visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1969 and spent the final decades of his career traveling frequently between Madison and Jerusalem.

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

Remembering former Associate Director Ezra (Sam) Diman, upon his passing

We recently learned of the passing of former UW Press Associate Director Ezra (“Sam”) Diman IV. Sam retired in 1995, after roughly thirty-five years on staff. Following time in the U.S. Armed Services and a brief stint working in publishing in Louisiana, Sam was hired into an entry-level job by then director Thompson Webb. He spent the next several decades working in progressively senior positions at the Press, serving as production manager and eventually associate director. 

Sam was particularly fond of the outdoors, and his broad knowledge of natural history served him (and UW Press) well; he was particularly proud of his work on such books as Mammals of Wisconsin (1961), Trout Stream Therapy (1993), and Crunching Gravel (1993), as well as Stanley Temple’s Bird Conservation series (1980s). He even appeared in the book Gone Fishin’. Former colleagues remember that he handled contracts and business and financial decisions; was a great advocate for the Press, on campus and off; and provided generous mentorship and friendship to his colleagues. He was also very involved in the AUPresses (then AAUP) community. Fluent in German and Spanish and literate in French, he is remembered as a broad-minded thinker. 

“He was from another age in all the best ways and very forward thinking in other ways,” said John Motoviloff, a UW Press author, employee from 1992 to 2000, and R3 Coordinator for the National Wild Turkey Federation. “Sam was a gentleman of the old school. As comfortable in the company of deans and regents as he was on a duck marsh or trout stream, he knew both a life of the mind and how to work with his hands. He served the Press with dignity for more than three decades. Dry wit, an affable nature, and a firm handshake were just a few of his trademarks. He will be missed by all those who knew him, and would be missed by those who did not have that good fortune.”

Following his retirement, Sam fulfilled his long-held dream of building a house in the Driftless region, married Perry L. Nesbitt, and spent countless hours outdoors. His full obituary can be found here

UW Press announces personnel changes and the creation of a combined EDP department 

After thirty-four years at the University of Wisconsin Press, most of them spent in the role of production manager, Terry Emmrich retired this summer. His steady hand in that position was instrumental in helping us navigate some challenging transitions over the decades, both internally and endemic to the industry. It would be impossible to replace him, so we’re not going to try. Instead, we have merged the production and editorial departments, and Adam Mehring has been named the first editorial, design, and production (EDP) manager in the history of UW Press. 

Adam started at UW Press in the 1990s as an undergraduate intern responsible for a number of tasks, including writing catalog and jacket copy. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor’s degree in English, he worked part-time in our marketing department for a few years before transitioning to the editorial department. He was named editor in 2001 and managing editor in 2006.

Joining Adam in the new EDP department is Sheila McMahon, who has been at UW Press since 1999, most recently serving as senior project editor and now taking on the managing editor position. Sheila began her career as a marketing student intern before moving over to the acquisitions department and finally into the editorial department in 2005. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English–creative writing and Latin American studies from UW–Madison. Sheila is also a freelance copyeditor and proofreader for several university presses. 

We are also happy to announce that we hired Jessica Smith (she/they) as a project editor in May. Jessica comes to us after five years in trade book publishing at Sourcebooks, where she most recently worked as lead production editor for the Sourcebooks Casablanca imprint, shepherding multiple New York Times and USA Today best sellers to print. She was most proud to work on diverse and LGBTQIA+ titles and is an advocate for sensitivity, accessibility, and inclusion in publishing. She graduated summa cum laude from Illinois State University with a degree in English–publishing studies and a political science minor. Jessica currently works remotely from Illinois with two lap cats, Kya and Samwise.

Jennifer Conn joined the UW Press production department as art director in 2017, and is now with us full time. She’s been designing for a couple of decades, for a publisher of special ed curriculum, as a cofounder of a start-up, and for various freelance clients over the years. She enjoys combining her love of books and art and collaborating with designers, authors, and the press team. Her favorite spot is art journaling in a hammock in Door County and she’s ambivalently looking forward to her imminent empty nest.

From left: Sheila McMahon, Jessica Smith, Terry Emmrich, Jennifer Conn, Adam Mehring

We also want to take this opportunity to belatedly announce some other recent hires at UW Press.

Last fall, we hired Alison (Allie) Shay as our new publicity manager. Allie comes to UW Press following stints at UNC Press and Syracuse University Press, where she served as publicist and acquisitions editor, respectively. Before starting her publishing career in 2011, Allie spent five years as a bookseller and earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from UNC. She works remotely from North Carolina with her two dogs, Mason and Daisy, who have been known to pop up on our social media from time to time. 

In our journals division, Dan Bennett joined us last fall as our new customer service and business development associate, coming from the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association, where he was a member services specialist.

Our journals production manager, Erica Teal, joined us last fall from the California Pharmacists Association, where she was managing editor of their journal. She began her publishing career at the Mathematical Association of America, working on two of their journals.

Finally, we recently welcomed our new journals marketing manager, David Bulgerin. David is completing his MBA from Colorado State University and has varied marketing experience, working in the provost’s communications office at Texas A&M, at Bryan Research & Engineering, and at Texas A&M Transportation Services.

With the restructuring of our EDP department and these new hires in journals and marketing, we are back up to full staffing for the first time since just before the pandemic began.

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.

Submission period now open for George L. Mosse First Book Prize

The University of Wisconsin Press and the George L. Mosse Program in History are pleased to announce that the submission period is now open for this year’s Mosse First Book Prize.

The prize was established in 2020 to honor Mosse’s commitment to scholarship and to mentoring new generations of historians. Winning books are published as part of the George L. Mosse Series in the History of European Culture, Sexuality, and Ideas, and the winning author receives a $5,000 prize, payable in two installments. An honorable mention winner may also be selected to receive a $1,000 prize and publication.

“George L. Mosse was a prolific and innovative scholar who significantly enriched our understanding of multiple aspects of European history: cultural symbolism and intellectual history, fascism and gender, Jewish and LGBTQ+ history. He was also a legendary mentor to aspiring scholars,” says series advisor David Sorkin. “This prize perpetuates George’s dual legacy of scholarship and mentorship by rewarding the next generation of historians with the opportunity to publish an outstanding monograph with the University of Wisconsin Press.”

The prize is open to original, previously unpublished monographs of historical scholarship in English (whether written in English or translated), and aims to support and engage early-career scholars writing on topics related to the history of European culture, sexuality, or ideas.

“We are excited to continue the Mosse prize for the second year,” says UW Press editor in chief Nathan MacBrien. “This is an opportunity for UW Press to acknowledge the innovative work of an early career scholar and for the selected author to publish a book that will reach a broad audience of scholars and students.”

Proposals will be accepted between March 22 and June 15, 2022; all submissions will be reviewed by the Press and series advisors. A short list of finalists will be chosen in July 2022, and those manuscripts will be read by a jury of expert readers, who will select the winning project. The winner will be announced after successful peer review of the manuscript.

Entrants should begin by sending a proposal to UW Press editor in chief Nathan MacBrien, at macbrien@wisc.edu. The subject line should contain “Mosse First Book Prize” as well as the author’s last name and a keyword. Please do not send the complete manuscript until requested to do so. Proposals should follow the guidelines detailed at https://uwpress.wisc.edu/proposal.html and should include the following elements:

  • the scope and rationale for the book and its main contributions, 
  • how the work fits with the Mosse Series, 
  • the audience and market for the book, 
  • the manuscript’s word count, 
  • an annotated table of contents, 
  • two sample chapters (ideally an introductory chapter and one interior chapter), and 
  • a curriculum vitae. 

Please note whether the book is under consideration elsewhere at the time of prize submission; work submitted for consideration must not be under contract elsewhere and should be complete at the time of submission.

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.

About the George L. Mosse Series in the History of European Culture, Sexuality, and Ideas

The Mosse series promotes the vibrant international collaboration and community that historian George L. Mosse created during his lifetime by publishing major innovative works by outstanding scholars in European cultural and intellectual history.

About George L. Mosse

A legendary scholar, teacher, and mentor, Mosse (1918–1999) joined the Department of History at UW–Madison in 1955. He was an early leader in the study of modern European culture, fascism, and the history of sexuality and masculinity. In 1965 Mosse was honored for his exceptional teaching by being named UW’s first John C. Bascom Professor. He remained famous among students and colleagues for his popular and engaging lectures, which were often standing-room only. A Jewish refugee from prewar Germany, Mosse was appointed a visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1969 and spent the final decades of his career traveling frequently between Madison and Jerusalem.

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.