Past Contest Winners

The A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize

Trouble the Water, Derrick Austin [selected by Mary Szybist]
Shame | Shame, Devin Becker [selected by David St. John]
Revising the Storm
, Geffrey Davis [selected by Dorianne Laux]
The Stick Soldiers
, Hugh Martin [selected by Cornelius Eady]
Litany for the City
, Ryan Teitman [selected by Jane Hirshfield]
Walking the Dog's Shadow
, Deborah Brown [selected by Tony Hoagland]
Beautiful in the Mouth
, Keetje Kuipers [selected by Thomas Lux]
Awayward, Jennifer Krovonet [selected by Jean Valentine]
The Boatloads
, Dan Albergotti [selected by Edward Hirsch]
Even the Hollow My Body Made Is Gone
, Janice N. Harrington [selected by Elizabeth Spires]
Falling to Earth
, Tom Hansen [selected by Molly Peacock]
The Eclipses
, David Woo [selected by Michael S. Harper]
Elegy with a Glass of Whiskey
, Crystal Bacon [selected by Stephen Dunn]
Big Back Yard
, Michael Teig [selected by Stephen Dobyns]

Derrick Austin wins 14th annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize

Derrick Austin is the winner of the 14th annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize for his collection Trouble the Water. The collection was selected from nearly 500 manuscript submissions by National Book Award-winning poet Mary Szybist. Austin will receive a $1,500 honorarium and book publication by BOA Editions, Ltd. in spring 2016 within the A. Poulin, Jr. New Poets of America series.

Of the winning collection, Mary Szybist says, “‘Expect poison of the standing water,’ Blake warned, highlighting the dangers of imaginative stagnation. I’m now tempted to believe that Blake himself has sent us Derrick Austin and his remarkable collection, Trouble the Water. At once gospel and troubadour song, these deeply spiritual and expansively erotic poems are lucid, unflinching, urgent. This is an extraordinary debut.”

Two finalists were also selected by Szybist: Binary Stars by Dana Koster and Novena by Jacques J. Rancourt.

Derrick Austin is a Cave Canem fellow and earned his MFA from the University of Michigan where he was awarded a Hopwood Award in graduate poetry. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Poetry 2015, Image: A Journal of Arts and Religion, New England Review, Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, The Paris-American, Memorious, and other journals and anthologies. He is the Social Media Coordinator for The Offing.

Mary Szybist is most recently the author of Incarnadine, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry.  The recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Witter Bynner Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center, she teaches at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.  

The BOA Short Fiction Prize

Gravity Changes, Zach Powers
Remarkable, Dinah Cox
Reptile House, Robin McLean
The Tao of Humiliation, Lee Upton
The Era of Not Quite, Douglas Watson

Zach Powers wins 5th annual BOA Short Fiction Prize

Zach Powers is the winner of the fifth annual BOA Editions Short Fiction Prize for his collection, Gravity Changes. The collection was selected from nearly 200 submissions by BOA Publisher Peter Conners. Powers will receive a $1,000 honorarium and book publication by BOA Editions, Ltd. within the American Reader Series in spring 2017.

Of the collection, Peter Conners says: “Zach Powers wields a unique talent for creating strange and surreal worlds that, somehow, illuminate true human emotion more realistically than the realest realist. His characters defy gravity, sprout siblings from their shoulders, shrink universes with performance art, and tap into well-hidden, magical corners of the quotidian world. It is an honor to award him the fifth annual BOA Short Fiction Prize.”

Five runners-up were also selected: Just Pretend This Never Happened by Ryan Habermeyer; A Good Thing by Aimee LaBrie; These Are Our Demands by Matthew Pitt; The Owl that Carries Us Away by Doug Ramspeck; and Suffering Fools by Glori Simmons.

Zach Powers’ work appears widely in such places as the Black Warrior Review, Forklift, Ohio, The Conium Review, Caketrain, and elsewhere. The co-founder of the literary arts not-for-profit Seersucker Live, he also leads the writers’ workshop at the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home, where he served on the board of directors. His writing for television won an Emmy, and he is a columnist for Savannah Morning News. He lives and writes in Savannah, Georgia.