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The Second O of Sorrow wins Housatonic Book Award

Rochester, N.Y. — BOA Editions is proud to announce that The Second O of Sorrow by Sean Thomas Dougherty has won the 2019 Housatonic Book Award for Poetry. Western Connecticut State University's MFA in Creative and Professional Writing announced the winners of the 2019 Housatonic Book Awards on their website last week.

The Second O of Sorrow celebrates the struggles, the dignity, and the joys of working-class life in the Rust Belt. Finding delight in everyday moments—a night at a packed karaoke bar, a father and daughter planting a garden, a biography of LeBron James as a metaphor for Ohio—these poems take pride in the people who survive despite all odds, who keep going without any concern for glory, fighting with wit and grace for justice, for joy, every god damned day.

Sean Thomas Dougherty has written or edited fifteen books, including The Second O of Sorrow (BOA Editions, 2018), All You Ask for is Longing: New and Selected Poems (BOA, 2014), Sasha Sings the Laundry on the Line (BOA, 2010), and Broken Hallelujahs (BOA, 2007). His awards include a Fulbright Lectureship to the Balkans and an appearance in Best American Poetry. Known for his dynamic readings, he has performed at hundreds of venues, universities, and festivals including the Dodge Poetry Festival, the Old Dominion Literary Festival, and a tour across Albania and Macedonia sponsored by the US State Department. He lives in Erie, PA. For more information about Sean Thomas Dougherty, visit

The Housatonic Book Awards are given each year to book-length works in the following categories: Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction, and YA/Middle-Grade. To be eligible for entry, books must have been published in the previous year. The Award carries a $1,000 honorarium in exchange for appearing at the winter or summer residency of the MFA in Creative and Professional Writing at Western Connecticut State University. Winners in each category will give a public reading and a one-day, three-hour workshop with current MFA students. The Award also includes a $500 travel stipend and hotel stay during the residency.

Congratulations, Sean!

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