May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize

Home / May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize

The 2021 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize will be open for submissions in January!

The May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize is named for May Sarton, the renowned novelist, memoirist, poet, and feminist (1912-1995) who lived for many years in Nelson, New Hampshire, not far from Peterborough, home of William L. Bauhan Publishing. In 1967, she approached Bauhan and asked him to publish her book of poetry, As Does New Hampshire. She wrote the collection to celebrate the bicentennial of Nelson, and dedicated it to the residents of the town.

May Sarton was a prolific writer of poetry, novels, and perhaps what she is best known for—nonfiction on growing older (Recovering: A Journal, Journal of Solitude, among others.) She considered herself a poet, first, though, and in honor of that and to celebrate the centenary of her birth in 2012, Sarah Bauhan, who inherited her father’s small publishing company, launched the prize.

Bauhan Publishing Announces

The 2020 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize Winner

DM Me, Mother Darling by Alexa Doran


Alexa Doran is the author of the chapbook Nightsink, Faucet Me a Lullaby (Bottlecap Press 2019), and is currently a PhD candidate at Florida State University. Her series of poems about the women of Dada, “The Octopus Breath on Her Neck,” was recently released as part of Oxidant/Engine’s BoxSet Series Vol 2. You can also look for work from Doran in recent or upcoming issues of Los Angeles Review, Mud Season Review, SalamanderPithead Chapel and New Delta Review, among others. She lives with her son in Tallahassee, Florida.

Judge Nils Michals selected Alexa Doran of Tallahassee, FL and her collection DM Me, Mother Darling as the winner out of nearly 500 worthy entries. Doran will receive $1,000 prize money, publication of the collection with our spring 2021 titles, 100 author copies, and distribution with Casemate Group.

We’d like to welcome Alexa Doran to our team and congratulate our two runners up and three honorable mentions!

Runners up:

Devera by Susan Parr of Seattle, WA
Revoke by Joy Manesiotis of Redlands, CA

Honorable mentions:

Chimera by Mary MooreofHuntingdon, WV
Ticker by Mark Neely of Muncie, IN
The Space Shapes the Shape of the Space by Flower Conroy of Key West, FL

Nils Michals says of Doran’s collection:

“Witty, inventive, and heartbreaking, DM Me, Mother Darling reminds us that once beyond the wreckage of lost, abandoned lives, something underneath emerges: a voice born from that terrible beauty, one that says, ‘Now hush— / not everything above can crush us.’”


Nils Michals is a past May Sarton New Hampshire Prize winner! He is most recently the author of Gembox (The Word Works, 2019), which won the 2018 Washington Poetry Prize. Earlier collections of poetry include Lure (Pleiades, 2004) and Come Down to Earth (Bauhan, 2013), which won the 2012 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize. His work has appeared in [PANK]Catamaran Literary ReaderBeloit Poetry JournalMiracle MonoclePosit, and others. Michals teaches at West Valley College, where he helps direct the creative writing program and is faculty advisor for Voices Literary Magazine. He lives in Santa Cruz, CA.