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Matt Morton wins 2018 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize

Matt Morton
We are pleased to announce that Matt Morton of Dallas, TX is the winner of the 18th annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. His winning manuscript, Improvisation without Accompaniment, was selected by esteemed poet Patricia Smith from an original pool of more than 740 submissions. Improvisation without Accompaniment will be published by BOA Editions in April 2020 as part of the A. Poulin, Jr. New Poets of America Series with a foreword by Patricia Smith. Morton will also receive a $1,000 honorarium.

In addition to the winning manuscript, judge Patricia Smith also selected a finalist and two semi-finalists for the prize:

WINNER: Improvisation without Accompaniment by Matt Morton

FINALIST: Redress by Jessica Smith

SEMI-FINALISTS: Love Song to the Demon-Possessed Pigs of Gadara by William Fargason and Public House by Dylan Weir

Matt Morton holds a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. His poetry appears in AGNIGettysburg ReviewHarvard ReviewTin House Online, and elsewhere. His work has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He serves as associate editor for 32 Poems and is a Robert B. Toulouse Doctoral Fellow in English at the University of North Texas. For more about Matt, visit

Patricia Smith is the author of eight books of poetry, including Incendiary Art;Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; Blood Dazzler, a National Book Award finalist; and Gotta Go, Gotta Flow, a collaboration ion with award-winning Chicago photographer Michael Abramson. Smith is the winner of the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, and a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, among other honors. She is a professor at the College of Staten Island and in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College, as well as an instructor for Cave Canem, the annual VONA residency and in the Vermont College of Fine Arts Post-Graduate Writing Program.

Established in 2000, the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize is awarded annually to honor a poet’s first full-length collection of poetry. The winner is selected each year by a nationally recognized poet from a competitive pool of manuscripts. Winning manuscripts are published within the A. Poulin, Jr. New Poets of America Series. Recent Poulin Prize winners have included Documents by Jan-Henry Gray (April 2019), Cenzontle by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, which won the GLCA New Writers Award and the NCIBA Golden Poppy Book Award for Poetry, and When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities by Chen Chen. Other renowned debuts in the New Poets of America Series include Rose by Li-Young Lee, Awake by Dorianne Laux, The Philosopher's Club by Kim Addonizio.

Submissions for the 19th annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize will be accepted August 1–November 30, 2019. Richard Blanco will judge. Click here for complete guidelines and eligibility requirements. 

Congratulations, Matt, and welcome to the BOA family!

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