Rochester, NY—BOA Editions, Ltd. is pleased to announce that Matthew Gellman of Brooklyn, NY is the winner of the 22nd annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. His winning manuscript, Beforelight, was selected by celebrated poet and writer Tina Chang from a pool of 800 original submissions. Beforelight will be published by BOA Editions in April 2024 as part of the New Poets of America Series with a foreword by Tina Chang. Gellman will also receive a $1,000 honorarium.
"I am in awe of the talent and vision of this year's poetry submissions. I am honored to select Matt Gellman's Beforelight as the winner of this year's A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize! Written with wisdom and grace, Beforelight, explores the expanses of love—familial, ancestral, and communal—ultimately committing to the self's authenticity as the highest form of devotion.” said Final Judge Tina Chang.
In addition to the winning manuscript, Chang selected five runners-up for the prize:
- From – janan alexandra
- Slake – Brian Czyzyk
- Pathetic Fallacy – JP Grasser
- How Are We Doing? – Nancy Miller Gomez
- Gospel – Donovan McAbee
Matthew Gellman is a 2022-2023 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow. His poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest, Narrative, The Common, Ninth Letter, Indiana Review, Lambda Literary’s Poetry Spotlight, the Missouri Review, North American Review, Waxwing, and elsewhere. His chapbook, “Night Logic,” was selected by Denise Duhamel as the winner of the 2021 Snowbound Chapbook Prize and is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. Matthew has also received awards and honors from Brooklyn Poets, the Adroit Journal’s Djanikian Scholars Program, the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts and the New York State Summer Writers Institute. He holds an MFA from Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn.
Tina Chang, Brooklyn Poet Laureate, is the author of Half-Lit Houses (2004), Of Gods & Strangers (2011), and most recently Hybrida (2019) which was named A Most Anticipated Book of 2019 by NPR, Lit Hub, The Millions, Oprah magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, and was named a New York Times Book Review New & Noteworthy collection. She is also the co-editor of the W.W. Norton anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (2008). Chang is the director of Creative Writing at Binghamton University.
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 Improvisation Without Accompaniment by Matt Morton, Documents by Jan-Henry Gray, Cenzontle by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, 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, and The Philosopher's Club by Kim Addonizio.
Submissions for the 23rd annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize will be accepted August 1–November 30, 2023 with the winner announced in spring 2024. Eligibility requirements and submission guidelines for the Poulin Prize are available at boaeditions.org/poulin.
BOA Editions, Ltd. is one of the premier independent publishers of contemporary poetry and literary fiction. Founded in 1976 by A. Poulin, Jr. to provide a venue for both new and established poets, BOA has released more than 300 titles, including more than 40 first collections of poetry. Many BOA titles and authors have been recognized with literary awards, including the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.