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G&A: The Contest Blog

The Minneapolis-based publisher Milkweed Editions is currently accepting submissions for the second annual Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry. The prize, open to poets who live in the upper Midwest, offers an award of $10,000 and publication for a poetry collection. The deadline is January 31.

Poets who currently reside in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, or Wisconsin are eligible to submit a previously unpublished, book-length poetry manuscript by postal mail. There is no entry fee. Five finalists will be selected by the editors of Milkweed Editions, and the winner will be chosen by this year’s judge, poet G. C. Waldrep, whose most recent book is Archicembalo (Tupelo Press, 2009). Visit the Milkweed website for complete eligibility and submissions guidelines.

Founded in 1980, Milkweed Editions is an independent press whose mission is to “identify, nurture, and publish transformative literature, and build an engaged community around it.” The partnership between Milkweed Editions and the Minneapolis-based law offices of Lindquist & Vennum “celebrates poets for their artistic contributions, and brings outstanding regional writers to a national stage.” 

The inaugural Lindquist & Vennum Prize, judged by poet Peter Campion (The Lions, University of Chicago Press, 2009), was awarded in 2012 to Patricia Kirkpatrick of St. Paul for her collection Odessa. To hear Kirkpatrick read three poems from her winning collection, published this past December by Milkweed Editions, visit our podcast page or click on the Soundcloud player below. 

Meridian, the literary journal of the University of Virginia, is currently accepting submissions for its annual Editors’ Prize. Two awards of $1,000 each and publication are given for a poem and a short story. The deadline is January 8.

Emerging writers who have published no more than one full-length book, and who are not current students, staff, faculty, or recent alumni of the University of Virginia, are eligible to enter. Using the online submission system, submit up to four poems totaling no more than ten pages or a story of up to 10,000 words with an eight-dollar entry fee. Writers may submit two entries per genre, and all entrants receive an electronic subscription to Meridian. Winners will be announced in late March. 

Founded in 1998 in conjunction with the MFA program at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Meridian is published twice yearly, and has featured such writers such as Richard Bausch, Ann Beattie, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Rita Dove, Seamus Heaney, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Charles Wright. The 2012 Editors’ Prize winners were poet Laura Davenport for “Apology for a Horse” and fiction writer Janet Hilliard-Osborn for “Easter, 1954.” Both winning works were published in the May 2012 issue of Meridian. In addition to the annual prize, the journal accepts general submissions of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction year-round. 

For more information about Meridian, and for complete submission guidelines, visit the website

The Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts, presented the inaugural “Tell it Slant” award to poet Kay Ryan earlier this month, during a two-day celebration of Emily Dickinson’s birth.

The annual award was established this year by the Emily Dickinson Museum’s Board of Governors in order to honor an individual in any field “whose life work is imbued with the creative spirit of the Amherst poet.” The award takes its name from the well-known Dickinson poem which begins: “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant—/ Success in Circuit lies / Too bright for our infirm Delight / The Truth's superb surprise.”

Ryan, the U.S. Poet Laureate from 2008 to 2010, published her first book of poetry, Strangely Marked Metal (Copper Beech Press), in 1985. She went on to receive the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004, and her seventh book, The Best of It: New and Selected Poems, published in 2010 by Grove Press, received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She was awarded a MacArthur "Genius" Grant in 2011.

According to a recent press release from the Dickinson Museum, “Kay Ryan’s style has often been compared to Emily Dickinson’s for its originality and knotted syntax. Dickinson’s poems powerfully convey observations about the natural world, pain and suffering, ecstasy and contentment, and the nature of mortality and immortality. Ryan’s poems are likewise compact, uncluttered, and crackling with wry amusement that belies their density of meaning.” Presenting the award, Gigi Bradford, a member of the Dickinson Museum’s Board of Governors and chair of the Folger Shakespeare Library Poetry Board, said, “Unlike any other poet writing today, Kay Ryan takes Dickinson’s sense of how poetry—sometimes playfully and lightly but always from a slant—helps us to answer the central questions of what it means to be human.”

The award was presented on December 6, a day that marked the 182nd anniversary of Emily Dickinson’s birth. To find out more about the “Tell It Slant” award, and for more information about the Emily Dickinson Museum and Homestead in Amherst, visit emilydickinsonmuseum.org

The Hong Kong-based Man Asian Literary Prize recently announced the long list for its 2012 prize. The international award is given annually for a novel by an Asian writer, written in or translated into English and published during the previous year. The winner, who will be announced in March, will receive $30,000.

The list includes Goat Days (Penguin Books India) by Benyamin of India; Between Clay and Dust (Aleph) by Musharraf Ali Farooqi of Pakistan; Another Country (Fourth Estate) by Anjali Joseph of India; The Briefcase (Counterpoint Press) by Hiromi Kawakami of Japan;Thinner Than Skin (HarperCollins Canada) by Uzma Aslam Khan of Pakistan; Ru (Clerkenwell Press) by Kim Thúy of Vietnam and Canada; Black Flower (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Young-Ha Kim of South Korea; Island of a Thousand Mirrors (Perera Hussein) by Nayomi Munaweera of Sri Lanka; Silent House (Knopf) by Orhan Pamuk of Turkey; Honour (Viking) by Elif Shafak of Turkey; Northern Girls (Penguin China) by Sheng Keyi of China; The Garden of Evening Mists (Myrmidon Books) by Tan Twan Eng of Malaysia; The Road To Urbino (Abacus) by Roma Tearne of Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom; Narcopolis (Faber and Faber) by Jeet Thayil of India; and The Bathing Women (Blue Door) by Tie Ning of China.

Thúy and Tearne were eligible this year under the Prize’s new rule regarding writers who have lost their Asian nationality through state action.

In a press release, David Parker, executive director of the prize, said: “This list testifies to the strength and variety of new writing coming out of a culturally emergent Asia. It is full of stories the world hasn’t heard before and which the world needs to hear. It brings together seven books in English translation, which means that, as well as introducing exciting debut novelists, the Prize is also bringing to international attention some best-selling and important writers who are little known outside their own language communities.”

The chair of judges, international journalist and cultural critic Maya Jaggi, is joined by Vietnamese American novelist Monique Truong and award-winning Indian novelist Vikram Chandra.

The fifteen long-listed candidates will be narrowed down to a shortlist on January 9, and the winner will be announced on March 14 at a celebratory dinner in Hong Kong.

Established in 2007, the Man Asian Literary Prize is sponsored by the Man Group, which also oversees the Man Booker Prize for British literature and the Man Booker International Prize. The 2011 winner of the Asian Literary Prize was South Korean writer Kyung-sook Shin for her novel Please Look After Mom (Knopf). She was the first woman and first South Korean writer to win the prize.

Visit the Man Asian Literary Prize website for more information and submission guidelines, and to find out more about the long-listed novelists.

In the video below, watch the longlist announcement from David Parker and a Q&A with Maya Jaggi. 

The Princeton, New Jersey-based National Poetry Series has announced the winners of its annual Open Competition. Each of the five winning poets will receive $1,000, and the winning books will be published by participating presses in the summer of 2013.

The 2012 recipients are the meatgirl whatever by Kristin Hatch of San Francisco, California, chosen by K. Silem Mohammad and to be published by Fence Books; The Narrow Circle by Nathan Hoks of Chicago, Illinois, chosen by Dean Young and to be published by Penguin Books; The Cloud that Contained the Lightning by Cynthia Lowen of Brooklyn, New York, chosen by Nikky Finney and to be published by University of Georgia Press; Visiting Hours at the Color Line by Ed Pavlić of Athens, Georgia, chosen by Dan Beachy-Quick and to be published by Milkweed Editions; Failure & I Bury the Body by Sasha West of Austin, Texas, chosen by D. Nurkse and to be published by HarperCollins.

Established in 1978, the National Poetry Series is a literary awards program that publishes five new books of poetry each year through its Open Competition. Previous winners include poets Billy Collins, Stephen Dunn, Mark Doty, Marie Howe, Nathaniel Mackey, Naomi Shihab Nye, Eleni Sikelianos, and Terrance Hayes. 

To enter the 2013 competition, United States residents may submit previously unpublished book-length poetry manuscripts, typically between forty-eight and sixty-four pages in length, with a thirty-dollar entry fee by February 15, 2013. For complete submission guidelines and to learn more about the Open Competition, visit the National Poetry Series website

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based literary magazine cream city review is currently accepting submissions for its annual poetry and fiction contest. Winners in each genre receive a $1,000 prize and publication in the Spring 2013 issue. The deadline for entry is December 31.

Poets and fiction writers may submit three to five poems or up to twenty pages of fiction, along with a $15 entry fee, which includes a copy of the contest issue, to cream city review, Department of English, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201. Submissions must be typed, double-spaced (poetry may be single-spaced), and should include the author’s name and address. Winners will be announced on the cream city review website in the spring. The magazine’s annual nonfiction contest has been discontinued.

Founded in 1975 by Mary Zane Allen, cream city review is a volunteer-operated, non-profit literary magazine published twice yearly, in the spring and fall, by the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Boasting an international readership, the magazine is “devoted to publishing memorable and energetic pieces that push the boundaries of literature” and seeks to “explore the relationship between form and content.” The magazine publishes poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, comics, book reviews, literary criticism, author interviews, and original artwork. Approximately four thousand submissions are received each year from emerging and established writers. Past contributors have included Aimee Bender, Charles Bukowski, Robert Olen Butler, Amy Clampitt, Billy Collins, Tess Gallagher, Joy Harjo, Bob Hicok, Allison Joseph, Audre Lorde, Ben Percy, Adrienne Rich, and Alberto Ríos.

The journal’s name pays homage to Milwaukee, whose moniker “The Cream City” refers to Cream City brick, a light-yellow-colored brick made from clay native to the city, which was first produced in the early nineteenth century. For more information about cream city review and for complete submission guidelines, visit the website

New York City-based Poets House has extended the application deadline for its second annual Emerging Poets Fellowship Program to December 10. The four-month fellowship is open to emerging poets living in the five boroughs of New York City.

Funded by the Jerome Foundation, the program includes weekly writing workshops, mentoring sessions, meetings with guest speakers, and free access to the Poets House Library in lower Manhattan. From the Poets House website: “The program aims to deepen participants’ artistic practice by offering a robust professional network of poets and literary professionals, including special visits from editors and publishers, who will assist each writer with their artistic development and career.”

Emerging poets of any age may submit the required application form, a narrative biography, a personal statement, a curriculum vitae, and a work sample by mail to Poets House, Emerging Poets Residency, 10 River Terrace, New York, NY 10282. There is no application fee, and tuition is free for all poets accepted into the program. Recipients will be announced February 1.

The 2013 fellows will meet on Tuesday evenings from March 12 to June 4, 2013. Fellows will also meet one-on-one with workshop leaders and guest faculty, including poets Jen Bervin, CAConrad, Cornelius Eady, Ben Lerner, Evie Shockley, and Jean Valentine, throughout the residency.

Founded in 1985 by the late U.S. Poet Laureate Stanley Kunitz and arts administrator Elizabeth Kray, Poets House offers a variety of programs and resources—including classes, readings, lectures, exhibitions, and a 50,000-volume poetry library—to emerging and established poets in New York City. For more information on the Emerging Poets Fellowship Program, and to find an application form and complete submission guidelines, visit the Poets House website

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