Genre: Cross-Genre

Deadline Approaches for the Essay Press Book Contest

Submissions are open for the 2021 Essay Press Book Contest, cosponsored by the University of Washington in Bothell MFA program. Given for manuscripts “that extend or challenge the formal possibilities of prose,” the award includes publication by Essay Press, a cash prize of $1,000, and an invitation to read on the Bothell campus near Seattle, travel expenses covered. Lyric essays, prose poems or poetics, experimental biography and autobiography, and hybridized text/art manuscripts, among other forms, are eligible. Ronaldo Wilson will judge.

Using only the online submission system, submit a manuscript of 70 to 200 pages with a $20 entry fee ($25 to receive a copy of a previously published Essay Press book) by December 15. Some fee waivers are available. All entries will be considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Authors Eula Biss, Stephen Cope, and Catherine Taylor founded Essay Press in 2006. The independent, volunteer-run press publishes “artful, innovative writing that questions convention and explores issues of significant contemporary relevance.” Previous winners of the book contest include Valerie Hsiung, Silvina López Medin, and Yanara Friedland.


Burial With Mary Lattimore


“imagine his joy as the sun / wizarded forth those abundant sugars / and I plodded barefoot / and prayerful at the first ripe plum’s swell and blush,” reads Ross Gay from his poem “Burial” in this video featuring music by Mary Lattimore. The track is featured in an album called Dilate Your Heart, part of a yearlong release campaign celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of indie record label Jagjaguwar.

Pamela Sneed With Tommy Pico


“If we are always the threat / To whom or where do we turn for protection?” In this Litquake festival video from 2020, Pamela Sneed reads from her book Funeral Diva (City Light Books, 2020), for which she won the 2021 Lambda Literary Award’s lesbian poetry prize, and speaks with Tommy Pico about breaking apart genres and writing about pandemics.

Artists on Writers: Wayne Koestenbaum and Anthony Roth Costanzo


“The minute I’m within a sentence, I’m within an orbit of urgencies and rules that to some extent leave me in a position of caginess and wiliness,” says poet and critic Wayne Koestenbaum about the presence of spontaneity in writing in this conversation about fables, expressions of queerness, and process with countertenor and actor Anthony Roth Costanzo. The Artists on Writers | Writers on Artists series is coproduced by Artforum and Bookforum, and sponsored by the Morgan Library & Museum.

Up to Astonishment


“To me all good poetry is experimental in some way,” says poet Susan Howe in this film about Emily Dickinson by poet and filmmaker Benita Raphan, filmed on location at the Morgan Library & Museum and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Raphan, a Guggenheim fellow known for her short experimental films, died at the age of fifty-eight on January 10, 2021.

Situation 5


In “Situation 5,” a short film by Jackson Prize–winning poet Claudia Rankine and photographer John Lucas, a history of racial oppression forms the backdrop to a lyrical meditation on racism, imprisonment, and identity. “My brothers are notorious. Though they have not been to prison, they have been imprisoned. But the prison is not a place you enter. It is no place.”


Cadence: Video Poetry Festival


Watch this trailer for the Cadence: Video Poetry Festival, presented by Northwest Film Forum and programmed in collaboration with Seattle author Chelsea Werner-Jatzke and artist Rana San. The annual festival is a series of screenings, workshops, and discussions on the genre of video poetry held during National Poetry Month in April. Read more about the Seattle literary scene in our Seattle City Guide written by E. J. Koh.

Poem to My Child, If Ever You Shall Be With Gia Margaret


“I have so many questions of you, / for you are closer to me than anyone // has ever been, tumbling, as you are, this second, / through my heart’s every chamber,” reads Ross Gay from his poem “Poem to My Child, If Ever You Shall Be” in this video with music by Gia Margaret, a collaboration from a new Jagjaguwar album called Dilate Your Heart.


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