May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize

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Submissions for the 2022 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize are NOW OPEN!

2022 Judge: Rebecca Kaiser Gibson

Rebecca Kaiser Gibson is the author of poetry collections Girl as Birch, (Bauhan Publishing, forthcoming 2022), OPINEL(Bauhan Publishing, 2015), and two chapbooks Admit the Peacock and Inside the Exhibition. Her poems have appeared in Agni, Antigonish, Field, Green Mountains Review, The Greensboro Review, The Harvard Review, Massachusetts Review, The Ocean State Review, Salamander, Slate, Taos Journal of Poetry, Tupelo Quarterly, and VerseDaily among others, and in two anthologies, Cadence of Hooves and Thirty Days, The Best of the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project’s First Year.

Rebecca is the recipient of fellowships from MacDowell, The Heinrich Böll Cottage, Ireland, and a Fellowship in Poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to teach poetry in Hyderabad, India. She is founder and director of The Loom, Poetry in Harrisville, a poetry reading series. Rebecca taught creative writing, poetry, at Tufts University, for twenty-three years.

Gibson has written reviews for The Boston Review of Books, Pleiades and the Los Angeles Review. Her fiction has appeared in The Harvard Review and Northwest Review. Two of her creative nonfiction essays appeared in the Tufts Magazine, The Gods Next Door about India, and Fugitive Soul, an account of her friendship with poet and author Deborah Digges which received the bronze award from CASE, “Best Articles of the Year: Higher Education. An essay about her first encounter with Frost’s Directive appeared in The Necessary (thenecessary.net), a multimedia arts magazine.

Gibson earned a B.A. at Oberlin College, an M.A.T. in teaching theatre from Columbia Teachers College, an M.A. in directing from Pittsburgh University and an M.A. in creative writing, poetry, from Boston University.

Rebecca lives in Marlborough, NH with her husband Charlie.

Bauhan Publishing Announces

The 2021 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize Winner

Not a Soul But Us, by Richard Smith

We are pleased to share the results of our 2021 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize with all of our treasured submitters. We received another enormous number of submissions this year, and as in previous years, it always leaves our judge with a difficult decision to make.

Meg Kearney chose Richard Smith  of Washington D.C.  and his collection Not a Soul But Us as the winner out of the more than 400 worthy entries. Smith will receive $1,000 prize money, publication of the collection with our spring 2022 titles, 50 author copies, and distribution with Casemate Group.

Meg said this in her comments:

When faced with the daunting task of choosing one winner out of more than 430 manuscripts submitted for the May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize, what does one look for? A first poem that hooks you and pulls you in—and then poem after poem that refuse to let you stop reading. A mastery of craft. Music. An undulating urgency of tone that leaves no doubt about the emotional impulse that drives the work. A voice that you trust, even when the syntax or the material is difficult. And that material needs to feel relevant, of substance, necessary. Not a Soul But Us is an achievement on every front. Set in rural England during and after the bubonic plague pandemic of 1348–49, this verse novel drives to the heart of what we humans are capable of when boiled down to our very core in the struggle to survive—and how, in more ways than one, it’s not our intelligence or our resiliency but love and the non-human animals that save us. Timely, remarkable, and unforgettable, these eighty-four sonnets are so well crafted that we cease to notice the form, swept away as we are by the current of the story and its song.

We’d like to welcome Richard Smith to our team and congratulate our runner up and two honorable mentions!

Runner up:
Concentration – Arne Weingart, Chicago, IL

Honorable mentions:
Becoming Ribbons – Amber Adams, Boulder, Co.
Brush Bristle Love – William Snyder, Fargo, ND

We would also like to give our sincere thanks and appreciation to to everyone who entered this year’s contest. The caliber of entries was very high. In fact, several manuscripts were withdrawn because they had been accepted for publication elsewhere – congratulations to those submitters!

We hope you will consider resubmitting next year, as each year we pick a different noted poet to judge, and we do not pre-screen manuscripts. All entries go directly to the judge.

Submissions are now open on Submittable for 2022.

 

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.