Patricia Smith Selects Philip Metres as Winner of 2019 Adrienne Rich Award

The editors of the Beloit Poetry Journal are delighted to announce that final judge Patricia Smith has chosen Philip Metres’ “When It Rains in Gaza” as the winner of the 2019 Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry. 

Philip Metres has written ten books, including Sand Opera (2015), The Sound of Listening: Poetry as Refuge and Resistance (2018), and the forthcoming Shrapnel Maps (2020). Awarded the Lannan Fellowship and two Arab American Book Awards, he is professor of English and director of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program at John Carroll University.

Of Metres’ poem, Patricia Smith writes, “I was riveted by the undercurrent of sonic mastery that bolsters these hard stories with tenderness and song.”

Along with naming the winner, Smith selected two finalists. Of Hillery Stone’s “Coyotes,” Smith writes, “Once that resounding image kicks off this poem, the synapses fire, and those unexpected connections comprise an unrelenting human story.” Of Jeff Tigchelaar’s “Search History,” she writes, “The restless progression of this compelling poem jolts and disturbs its reader--but the poet's exemplary skill makes this utterly necessary narrative impossible to turn away from.”

The editors also selected as semifinalists Micah Bournes’ “Lament for Mother Tubman,” K. Avvirin Gray’s “Discuss.,” Eireann Lorsung’s “An archaeology,” and Anna Ross’ “She threw herself upon the coffin.” The winning poem, as well as the finalists and semifinalists, will appear in the Fall 2019 issue of the BPJ.

We’re grateful to the Adrienne Rich Literary Trust and to all who submitted poems for this year’s contest. Watch our website for details about the 2020 award. 

AWP '19 Off-Site Reading: Norse Hall, Lodge Room, 111 NE 11th St.

On Friday, March 29th, from 9:00-10:30 PM PDT, please join us at Norse Hall, Lodge Room, 111 NE 11th St (just half a mile from the convention center in Portland, OR) for a free reading featuring BPJ contributors and our 2019 Adrienne Rich Award judge, Patricia Smith. There will be refreshments, ample seating, and journals for sale along with contributors’ new titles! We hope to see you there

More about our featured poets in the order in which they'll be reading:

Christine Gosnay is the author of Even Years (Kent State University Press, 2017), winner of the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, and The Wanderer, winner of the Chad Walsh Chapbook Prize from Beloit Poetry Journal. Her work has appeared in POETRY, The Missouri Review, The Poetry Review, New Ohio Review, and Third Coast Magazine, and has featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. She lives in Maryland.

Daniel Arias-Gómez was born and raised in Guadalajara. He holds an MFA in poetry from CSU Fresno. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, New Ohio Review, Poet Lore, and others.

francine j. harris is the author of play dead, winner of the Lambda Literary and Audre Lorde Awards and was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her third collection, Here is the Sweet Hand, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Originally from Detroit, she has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, is a Cave Canem poet, and is the 2018/2019 Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. 

Meg Day is the 2015-2016 recipient of the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship, a 2013 recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, and the author of Last Psalm at Sea Level (Barrow Street 2014), winner of the Barrow Street Poetry Prize and the Publishing Triangle’s Audre Lorde Award, and a finalist for the 2016 Kate Tufts Discovery Award from Claremont Graduate University. Day is Assistant Professor of English & Creative Writing at Franklin & Marshall College and lives in Lancaster, PA.

Jehanne Dubrow is the author of seven poetry collections, including most recently American Samizdat (Diode Editions, 2019), as well as a book of creative nonfiction,throughsmoke: an essay in notes (New Rivers Press, 2019). Her eighth collection of poems, Simple Machines, won the Richard Wilbur Poetry Award and will be published by the University of Evansville Press at the end of 2019. Her work has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, The New England Review, and The Southern Review. She is an Associate Professor of creative writing at the University of North Texas.

Joe Wilkins is the author of a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers, and three collections of poetry, including When We Were Birds, winner of the 2017 Oregon Book Award in Poetry. His debut novel, Fall Back Down When I Die, is now available from Little, Brown. Wilkins lives with his family in western Oregon, where he directs the creative writing program at Linfield College.

Corey Van Landingham is the author of Antidote, winner of the Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award in Poetry, and Love Letter to Who Owns the Heavens, forthcoming from Tupelo Press. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, and The New Yorker. She teaches in the MFA program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Martha Silano is the author of five poetry books, including The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, Reckless Lovely, and the just-released Gravity Assist, all from Saturnalia Books. She co-authored, with Kelli Russell Agodon, The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice. Martha teaches at Bellevue College, near her home in Seattle, WA. 

Nicole Stellon O’Donnell’s first collection, Steam Laundry, won the 2013 WILLA Literary Award for Poetry. Her second book, You Are No Longer in Trouble, a memoir-in-flash about being a teacher, a student, and a principal’s daughter is forthcoming in March 2019 from the Marie Alexander Series. Her third book, Everything Never Comes Your Way, a collection of poems, will be published by Boreal Books in 2020.

Patricia Smith is the author of eight books of poetry, including Incendiary Art, winner of the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Award, the 2017 LA Times Book Prize, the 2018 NAACP Image Award and finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize. She is a professor at the College of Staten Island and in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College.

BPJ at AWP ’19 

The BPJ team is headed to Portland, Oregon, for AWP '19! At the bookfair, stop by table T6055 to get your copy of our latest issue, Spring 2019, featuring poems by Jennifer Atkinson, Nazifa Islam, Lesley Wheeler, Peter Leight, and Nome Emeka Patrick, among others. We’ll be offering a generous discount on subscriptions for conference goers, and poet Christine Gosnay will be on hand to sign advanced copies of her chapbook, The Wanderer.

Submissions Open for 2019 Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry

The editors of the Beloit Poetry Journal are pleased to accept entries for the 2019 Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry. The award was established in 2017, with the support of the Adrienne Rich Literary Trust

This year’s final judge is Patricia Smith, author of eight collections, including Incendiary Art, winner of the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the 2017 Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the 2018 NAACP Image Award, and finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize. 

All submissions will be considered for publication, and the winner will receive $1,500. Submissions will remain open through March 31. For more details, see our guidelines.

Christine Gosnay's The Wanderer Selected for the Chad Walsh Chapbook Series

The BPJ team is thrilled to announce that the 2019 title in the Chad Walsh Chapbook Series is Christine Gosnay's The Wanderer. Gosnay is the author of Even Years (Kent State University Press, 2017), winner of the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in POETRY, The Missouri Review, The Poetry Review, New Ohio Review, and Third Coast Magazine, and has featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. She lives in Maryland.

The collection, chosen by the editors, traces a powerful intellectual journey in the aftermath of loss. Co-editor Melissa Crowe writes, “Gosnay’s wide-ranging and incisive imagination draws from realms as varied as mythology, astronomy, and epistemology to dramatize the efforts of a sharp and hungry mind to cope with grief. In so doing, she offers up a vivid, wise, and innovative chapbook that provides immediate readerly pleasures and rewards our finest attention.”

When you subscribe to the BPJ, you’ll receive as part of your subscription a copy of the forthcoming chapbook in the series. Subscribe now to receive The Wanderer, due to ship in May, as your first issue. 

Leonore Hildebrandt's Where You Happen to Be Now Available

Editorial board member Leonore Hildebrandt's new book, Where You Happen to Be, is now available from Deerbrook Editions.

Leonore is the author of The Next Unknown from Pecan Grove Press and The Work at Hand from Flat Bay Press. Her poems and translations have appeared in the Cafe Review, the Cimarron Review, Denver Quarterly, Harpur Palate, and the Sugar House Review, among other journals. 

Leonore teaches at the University of Maine at Orono, and if you're lucky, you can catch her performing her own music somewhere along the coast of Maine.

Congratulations, Leonore!