The Anzaldúa Poetry Prize
Opens: 15 April 2017
Deadline: 15 August 2017
Guest Judge: CAConrad
Awards: First place is publication, $500 prize, and 25 contributor copies. Up to five finalists will be announced, and all poems will be considered for publication as a general submission.
Reading Fee: $15
Submit: Open—Submit today!
Our annual poetry prize proudly honors poet, writer, and cultural theorist, Gloria E. Anzaldúa. Anzaldúa’s work highlights how one’s place in the world is at once geographical, geopolitical, psychological, mythological, spiritual, and linguistic. She is well known for her book of prose and poetry, “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza,” which draws on her experience as a Chicana/Tejana/lesbian/feminist activist—a revolutionary and inspirational work that continues to be so.
The Gloria E. Anzaldúa Poetry Prize is awarded annually, in conjunction with the Anzaldúa Literary Trust, to a poet whose work explores how place shapes identity, imagination, and understanding. Special attention is given to poems that exhibit multiple vectors of thinking: artistic, theoretical, and social, which is to say, political.
Why am I compelled to write? Because the writing saves me from this complacency I fear. …Because the world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. By writing I put order in the world, give it a handle so I can grasp it. I write because life does not appease my appetites and hunger. I write to record what others erase when I speak, to rewrite the stories others have miswritten about me, about you. To become more intimate with myself and you. …To dispel the myths that I am a mad prophet or a poor suffering soul. To convince myself that I am worthy and that what I have to say is not a pile of shit. …Finally I write because I’m scared of writing, but I’m more scared of not writing.
–Gloria E. Anzaldúa, “Speaking in Tongues”
- Submit 15 to 30 pages of poetry. Please include no more than one poem per page.
- Simultaneous submissions and previously published poems are acceptable.
- All entries must be submitted online via our submission manager and be contained in a single document.
- The author’s name should not appear in the document (.doc or .docx).
- A non-refundable $15 reading fee must accompany your submission.
- Students (past and present), relatives, and close friends of the judge are ineligible.
The submission deadline is August 15th, 2017, 12 a.m., Central daylight time.
- The winner will receive a prize of $500 plus 25 copies of the published manuscript. The author will have the opportunity to purchase additional copies at a discount.
- We will feature the poet on our blog, and s/he will have the option to sign a royalties contract to sell the chapbook with Newfound.
- Newfound will design, print, and bind the chapbook. The cover will be decided in cooperation with the winning author.
- All finalists will be announced in December on the Newfound blog and social media channels.
- All poems submitted for the award will be considered for publication in Newfound.
- Due to the number of submissions, we cannot respond to each writer individually. Each author will receive an acknowledgment of receipt but will need to check the website for notification of the winner.
CAConrad will judge the finalists.
CAConrad’s childhood included selling cut flowers along the highway for his mother and helping her shoplift. The author of nine books of poetry and essays, the latest is titled “While Standing In Line For Death” and is forthcoming from Wave Books (September 2017). He is a Pew Fellow and has also received fellowships from Lannan Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Headlands Center for the Arts, Banff, RADAR, Flying Object, and Ucross. For his books, essays, and details on the documentary “The Book of Conrad” (Delinquent Films, 2016), visit http://CAConrad.blogspot.com.
Our panel of readers will shortlist the finalists:
Nico Amador won the 2016 Anzaldúa Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in APIARY, bedfellows, Big Bell, HOLD, Nimrod International Journal, MiPOesias, Plenitude Magazine, and Poet Lore. He is the author of the chapbook “Flower Wars” and a 2016 Lambda Literary Fellow.
M. J. Gette holds an MFA in Poetry with an Anthropology minor from the University of Minnesota. She is author of the chapbook “Poor Banished Child of Eve” (H_NGM_N 2017). Other work has appeared in Anthro/Poetics, Rooted: an Anthology of Aboreal Nonfiction, BOAAT, and elsewhere. She won the 2015 Anzaldúa Poetry Prize. Another chapbook, “dig(absence): an archaeological sequence,” was a finalist for the Gold Line Prize. She is recipient of the Marcella DeBourg Fellowship, and twice recipient of a FLAS fellowship to study the Kaqchikel language in Guatemala.
Rodney Gomez won the 2014 Anzaldúa Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Rattle, Pleaides, Puerto Del Sol, Blackbird, Denver Quarterly, and other journals and anthologies. He is the author of the forthcoming “Citizens of the Mausoleum (Sundress Publication, 2018) and the chapbooks “Mouth Filled with Night” and “Spine.”
James Henry Knippen‘s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Kenyon Review Online, Gulf Coast, 32 Poems, Colorado Review, The Missouri Review Online, West Branch, Mid-American Review, Third Coast, Blackbird, and elsewhere. He is the poetry editor of Newfound and teaches at Texas State University.
Winners & Finalists
Judge: Eduardo C. Corral
Winner: Nico Amador‘s work uses poetry to explore various histories—real and imagined, personal and generational—in an attempt to reconcile the contradictions embedded in his experience as a trans, queer, and mixed race Latino. His work has appeared in Poet Lore, Nimrod International Journal, MiPOesias, HOLD, Big Bell, Plenitude, Bedfellows, and APIARY Magazine, and he is a recent alumni of the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Writer’s Retreat. Nico is also a co-editor of Thread Makes Blanket Press and helped to found the Rogue Writing Workshop in Philadelphia, which provides access to workshop instruction with accomplished poets for those writing and learning outside of academic institutions.
Nico is a community organizer and training associate with Training for Change, an organizations focused on building skills among activists standing up for social, economic and environmental justice. In 2014 Nico was honored by the Peace and Justice Studies Association as “Peace Educator of the Year” for excellence in scholarship and dedication to peace education.
His winning chapbook, “Flower Wars,” will be published by Newfound in spring of 2017.
Finalists: Laura Sobbott Ross and Junior Dare. Poems by our finalists will be published in Newfound’s Print no. 3 issue.
Judge: Carmen Giménez Smith
Winner: Megan Jeanne (M. J.) Gette holds an MFA in Poetry at the University of Minnesota. Her work is rooted in ecological and anthropological research and has appeared or is forthcoming in Anthro/Poetics, Rooted: an Anthology of Aboreal Nonfiction, BOAAT, Carolina Quarterly, Tupelo Quarterly, Fugue, otoliths, Indefinite Space, Eratio, and elsewhere. In 2015, she was awarded a writer’s residency with Arquetopia, Oaxaca, to explore syncretism and space in architecture, culture, and poetry. This project was developed alongside the Marcella DeBourg Fellowship, which is awarded for “giving creative expression to women’s lives,” in relation to Megan’s work with NGOs and nonprofits dedicated to migrant issues, ecological research, and reproductive rights. She is twice recipient of FLAS fellowships to study the Kaqchikel language in Guatemala, where she has been working, researching and returning since 2011. Most recently, she was one of ten selected from a nation-wide pool to present her thesis, “Majority Reef,” a book-length lyric essay on art, ecology and colonial violence at ARTYFACTS, a conference on Art and Ethnography at Johns Hopkins University.
Her winning chapbook, “The Walls They Left Us,” was published by Newfound in spring of 2016.
Judge: Ada Limón
Winner: Rodney Gomez is the author of the forthcoming collection “Citizens of the Mausoleum” (Sundress Publications, 2018). His chapbooks include “Mouth Filled with Night” (Northwestern University Press, 2014), winner of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize, and “A Short Tablature of Loss” (Seven Kitchens Press, 2017), winner of the Ran Arroyo Chapbook Prize. His poetry has appeared in Poetry, Rattle, Pleiades, Denver Quarterly, Barrow Street, Blackbird, and RHINO, where it won the Editors’ Prize. Born and raised in Brownsville, Texas, he earned a BA from Yale and an MFA from the University of Texas–Pan American. He has been awarded residencies to the Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Santa Fe Art Institute.
He has also served on the board of Migrant Health Promotion, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of migrants, immigrants, and related populations. He edits the accompanying anthology to El Retorno, an annual event honoring Gloria E. Anzaldúa held at the University of Texas-Pan American. He works as an urban planner in Weslaco, Texas.