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G&A: The Contest Blog

The University of Georgia Press has announced that poet Christopher Salerno of Caldwell, New Jersey, has won the inaugural Georgia Poetry Prize for his collection Sun & Urn. Salerno will receive a cash award of $1,000 and publication by the University of Georgia Press in February 2017. He will also be invited to read his work at the prize’s sponsoring institutions—the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Georgia State University—and will receive an additional $1,000, as well as travel expenses, for each reading.
Christopher Salerno is the author of three previous poetry collections: Whirligig (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2006); Minimum Heroic (Mississippi Review Press, 2010), which won the 2011 Mississippi Review Award; and ATM (Georgetown Review Press, 2014), which was selected by poet D. A. Powell for the 2014 Georgetown Review Poetry Prize. Salerno currently serves as associate professor in the creative writing and MFA programs at William Paterson University in New Jersey.

Thomas Lux, the final judge of this year’s award, said of Salerno’s manuscript, “Christopher Salerno’s Sun & Urn is a highly accomplished (he has learned his trade!), a madly imaginative, and, ultimately, a brilliant and deeply human book. Read it, please, thrice!”

The Georgia Poetry Prize is a national competition established in 2015 to celebrate poetic excellence. The prize is to be administered annually; submissions for next year’s prize will be accepted from October 1 to November 30. Visit the website for submission guidelines and more information.

The deadline has been extended for the upcoming Pacific Coast/Beyond Baroque Books Award, given for a poetry manuscript by a writer living in California, Oregon, or Washington. The winner will receive $2,000 and publication in the Pacific Coast Poetry Series, an imprint of Beyond Baroque Books. Beyond Baroque editors Suzanne Lummis and Henry Morro will judge.

To apply, submit a manuscript between 48 and 70 pages with a $5 submission fee via postal mail to Pacific Coast Poetry Series, Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Boulevard, Venice, CA  90291, by May 1 (the original deadline was February 15). For more information, visit the website or e-mail Liz Camfiord at liz@beyondbaroque.org.

Beyond Baroque, a literary arts center dedicated to advancing public awareness and involvement in the literary arts, was established in 1968 as an avant-garde poetry magazine of the same name, which published emerging and overlooked writers, particularly from the Los Angeles area. Beyond Baroque Books was launched in 1998, and continues to “unearth cult rarities as well as collections by noted performance poets, educations, and cultural leaders.”

Submissions are currently open for the 2016 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, an annual award given for a full-length manuscript by a poet living in the Upper Midwest. The winner receives $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions.
Administered in partnership with Milkweed Editions and the Lindquist & Vennum Foundation, the award was established in 2011 with the goal of celebrating the work of exceptional poets from the Upper Midwest; poets residing in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin are eligible to apply. The editors of Milkweed Editions will select five finalists, and acclaimed poet A. Van Jordan will select the winning manuscript.

To enter, submit one hard copy of an unpublished, book-length collection of poetry, along with a single-page cover sheet that includes contact, submission, and biographical information to: ATTN: Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, Milkweed Editions, 1011 Washington Avenue South, Open Book, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55415.

The deadline to submit is March 1. There is no entry fee. The winner will be announced in April or May. Visit the website, or call the Milkweed Editions office at (612) 332-3192 for more information.

Milkweed Editions is one of the nation’s leading independent, nonprofit book publishers. Established in 1980, the publisher’s mission is to “identify, nurture, and publish transformative literature, and build an engaged community around it.” The press publishes fifteen to twenty titles per year.

Claremont Graduate University announced last week the finalists for the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. The annual award is given to honor a book by a midcareer poet. The finalists for the $10,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, given annually for a debut poetry collection, were also announced.

The finalists for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award are Kyle Dargan for Honest Engine (University of Georgia Press), Ross Gay for Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (University of Pittsburgh Press), Amy Gerstler for Scattered at Sea (Penguin), Fred Moten for The Little Edges (Wesleyan), and Jennifer Moxley for The Open Secret (Flood Editions).

The finalists for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award are Meg Day for Last Psalm at Sea Level (Barrow Street), Bethany Schultz Hurst for Miss Lost Nation (Anhinga Press), Michael Morse for Void and Compensation (Canarium Books), Danez Smith for [insert] boy (YesYes Books), and Henry Walters for Field Guide a Tempo (Hobblebush Books).

The judges for both awards were Stephen Burt, Elena Karina Byrne, Brian Kim Stefans, Don Share, and judge chair Chase Twichell. The winners will be announced in March and honored at a ceremony in April at Pomona College in Claremont, California.

Previous winners of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, now in its twenty-fourth year, include Angie Estes, Afaa Michael Weaver, Marianne Boruch, Timothy Donnelly, and Chase Twichell. Previous winners of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, established in 1993, include Brandon Som, Yona Harvey, Heidy Steidlmayer, Katherine Larson, and Atsuro Riley.

Photos (clockwise from top left): Dargan (Dale Robbins), Gay (Zach Hetrick), Gerstler, Moxley, Moten

Submissions are currently open for the North Carolina Writers Network (NCWN) Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, given annually for an unpublished short story. The winner receives $1,000 and possible publication in the Thomas Wolfe Review.
All writers, regardless of location, are eligible to apply. Using the online submission manager, submit two copies of an unpublished short story or self-contained novel excerpt of up to 3,000 words, along with a $25 entry fee ($15 for NCWN members), by January 30. Writers may also submit via postal mail to: North Carolina Writers Network, Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, Great Smokies Writing Program, Attn: Nancy Williams, One University Hts, UNC Asheville, NC 28804. The winner will be announced in early April. Visit the website for more information.

Administered by the Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina in Asheville, the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize honors celebrated North Carolina novelist Thomas Wolfe (1900–1938), a contemporary of William Faulkner who influenced many authors of modern American literature. The award has been given annually since 2006; previous winners include Mesha Maren (2015), Susan Levi Wallach (2014), Jude Whelchel (2014), and Kevin Winchester (2013).

Photo: Thomas Wolfe

Submissions are currently open for the 2016 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, given biannually for a creative nonfiction manuscript-in-progress by an emerging author. The winner will receive a $12,000 advance and publication by Graywolf Press. The winner will also receive editorial support and guidance from Graywolf Press to complete the project. Brigid Hughes, founding editor of independent literary and culture magazine A Public Space, will judge.

Writers residing in the United States who have not published more than two books of nonfiction are eligible to apply. No prior publication is required. Using the online submission manager, submit a one-page cover letter that includes a brief biographical statement, a two to ten-page overview of the manuscript, and a minimum of a hundred pages, or 25,000 words, from the manuscript by January 31. There is no application fee.

The Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize “emphasizes innovation in form,” and seeks “projects that test the boundaries of literary nonfiction,” rather than “straightforward memoirs.” Previous winners include Riverine by Angela Palm, The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison, The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness by Kevin Young, and Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays by Eula Biss.

Founded in 1974, Graywolf Press is now considered one of the leading nonprofit literary publishers in the country. The press is “committed to the discovery and energetic publication of contemporary American and international literature.” Visit the website for more information.

Read an interview with Graywolf’s executive editor, Jeff Shotts, in the November/December 2014 issue of Poets & Writers.

Fiction writer Ann Pancake has received the inaugural Barry Lopez Visiting Writer in Ethics and Community Fellowship. As part of the fellowship, Pancake will spend several weeks in residence at the Ala Kukui retreat in Hana, Hawaii. She will also participate in outreach events and present a public talk on the contemporary writer’s social responsibility at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu.

Sponsored by the Manoa Foundation of Honolulu, the annual fellowship was established by Frank Stewart and Debra Gwartney to honor the seventieth birthday of acclaimed writer and naturalist Barry Lopez, who is the author of fourteen books of fiction and nonfiction, most recently the short story collection Outside (Trinity University Press, 2014). The fellowship is given to a writer whose work “contributes to an awareness of the civic and ethical obligation of artists; that helps us understand, through storytelling, that the survival of a human world depends upon a commitment to integrity, empathy, and compassionate reconciliation; and inspires us to take social responsibility for the perils, which we have created ourselves, to the human and non-human world.”

Fellows are nominated and chosen by a committee of editors and writers. This year’s judges were Barry Lopez, Debra Gwartney, Jane Hirshfield, Pico Iyer, and Frank Stewart.

Ann Pancake has written several novels and short story collections, most recently Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley (Counterpoint Press, 2015). She lives in Seattle and teaches at the low-residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University.

Watch Barry Lopez give a keynote address at Poets & Writers Live in Portland, Oregon, last fall.

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