May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize

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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.

Submissions for the 2024 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize are now open!

Meet our 2024 judge, Dorsey Craft!

Dorsey Craft is the author of Plunder (Bauhan Publishing 2020), which won the 2019 May Sarton Prize. She is also the author of two chapbooks: My Football Team is Winning (EAT 2023) and The Pirate Anne Bonny Dances the Tarantella (CutBank 2020). Her work has received support from the Sewanee Writer’s Conference and the Anderson Center at Tower View. Her poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Blackbird, Copper Nickel, Mississippi Review, Narrative Magazine, Pleiades, Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. An Assistant Poetry Editor for Agni, Dorsey teaches at the University of North Florida and co-organizes the Dreamboat Poetry Series with Jessica Q. Stark in Jacksonville, FL.

Our 2023 winner, Heather Treseler!


For her collection, Auguries & Divinations

We are pleased to share the results of our 2023 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.

Brad Crenshaw chose Heather Treseler of Newton, Massachusetts and her collection Auguries & Divinations as the winner out of the more than 430 worthy entries. Treseler will receive $1,000 prize money, publication of the collection with our spring 2024 titles, 50 author copies, and distribution with Casemate IPM.

Brad had this to say about Heather’s poems: 

“Open Auguries and Divinations, and what we notice at once is the primary, confident appeal of the poet’s voice. Heather Treseler is compelling. We immediately want to listen to her, the way we might listen to a lyric singer full of melody and rhythm that we encounter unexpectedly on a street corner. Her voice brims with harmonies and modulated tones. But make no mistake, running through all her lyricism is a staring, unblinking intelligence that informs us about what she sees, what she celebrates, about those events that trigger her skepticism, and those for which she reserves her frank anger and objection. Her great theme centers on the surprises, good and bad, inherent in intimate relationships. Her experience ranges from suburban sexual assaults and, in The Lucie Odes, repeated male sexual violence and intimidation. But with equal conviction she registers the strains and stresses of friendship, and in “Louisiana Requiem” imagines the emotional divisions of a close friend who cares for her dying mother in hospice while she is herself pregnant, and thus about to become a mother herself. The poet teases out complicated, ardent allegiances. She is in conversation with Anne Sexton, Maxine Kumin and Catullus, of all people, and shares her passionate knowledge with Frank Bidart. Likewise, she is attentive to the subtleties and glories of her own intimate partnerships. Her vision is inclusive, generous, wide-ranging, and enthralling. Here, taken as a whole, we have a tremendously wise and wonderful new collection of poetry.”

Brad chose as semi-finalists: Amy Spade, from Oakland, California for Uncertain Serenade, and John Hicks from Placitas, New Mexico for Not All Are Linked to Land.

And he chose as Honorable Mentions: Jo Brachman, Pine Lake Georgia for Prayers to a Small Stone, Marcia Hurlow, Olathe Kansas for Natural History, and Anthony Botti, Boston Massachusetts, for Where it Will.

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.