Cleveland State University Poetry Center

2010 First Book and Open Book Competition Results

We are happy to announce the results of this year’s Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book and Open Competition Award Result. 867 manuscripts were submitted to the two contests, each of which awards publication and a $1000 prize.

Scroll down for a complete list of runners-up and finalists

Winner of 2010 Cleveland State University First Book Prize, selected by Rae Armantrout
forthcoming Spring 2011


The Grief Performance
Emily Kendal Frey is the author of the chapbooks Airport (Blue Hour Press, 2009), Frances (Poor Claudia, 2010), and The New Planet (Mindmade Books, 2010), as well as three chapbook collaborations. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

“Emily Kendal Frey performs grief and dread as a graceful dance, the kind the tree you cut down in your backyard might do on your heart. This work is light, deft, dangerous. There are perfect poems here, such as 'The End,' which enacts a simple, startling twist on the hoary injunction to 'Walk towards the light.' See, everything you know is wrong. You really have to read this book.”
--Rae Armantrout, contest judge 

Winner of 2010 Cleveland State University Open Competition
forthcoming Spring 2011

The Firestorm
Zach Savich is the author of the poetry collections Full Catastrophe Living, which won the 2008 Iowa Poetry Prize, and Annulments, which won the 2010 Colorado Prize for Poetry. His poems, essays, and book reviews have appeared in many journals, including Boston Review, Kenyon Review, A Public Space, Denver Quarterly, and Pleiades. A recipient of a BA from the University of Washington and an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, Savich has lived and taught in Italy, France, New Zealand, and around the US. He currently teaches and studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he helps organize the jubilat/Jones Reading Series 

Forthcoming in February 2012

Mother Was a Tragic Girl
Sandra Simonds is the author of Warsaw Bikini (Bloof Books, 2008), which was a finalist for the National Poetry Series. Her poems have been published in several journals including Poetry, The Believer, The Colorado Review, Fence, The Columbia Poetry Review, Barrow Street, New Orleans Review, Court Green, and Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry and Opinion. She earned a PhD in Literature from Florida State University and lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

Other Forthcoming and Recently Published Titles from Cleveland State University Poetry Center

Rust or Go Missing, poems by Lily Brown (forthcoming Fall 2010)
Mule, poems by Shane McCrae (forthcoming Fall 2010)
Say So, poems by Dora Malech (forthcoming Fall 2010)
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know, poems by John Bradley (published Spring 2010)
Clamor, poems by Elyse Fenton (published Spring 2010)
Brazil, a novella by Jesse Lee Kercheval (published Spring 2010)
Snaketown, a novella by Kathleen Wakefield (published Spring 2010)
Destruction Myth, poems by Mathias Svalina (published Fall 2009)
Sum of Every Lost Ship, poems by Allison Titus (published Fall 2009)
Horse Dance Underwater, poems by Helena Mesa (published Spring 2009)
Trust, poems by Liz Waldner (published Spring 2009)
Self-Portrait with Crayon, poems by Allison Benis White (published Spring 2009)

The First Book judge will be Matthea Harvey.

The Grief Performance by Emily Kendal Frey of Portland, OR, was selected by final judge Rae Armantrout as the winner of our First Book Award, and will be published in February 2011.

The Firestorm by Zach Savich of Amherst, MA, was selected as the winner of our Open Competition by jurors Kazim Ali, Mary Biddinger, Michael Dumanis, and Sarah Gridley, and will be published in February 2011.

In February 2012, the Poetry Center will publish an additional title, Mother Was a Tragic Girl by Sandra Simondsof Tallahassee, FL, selected from among the finalists for this year’s contests.

We would also like to recognize and congratulate the following runners-up, finalists, and semifinalists for the awards.

First Book Competition Runners-Up:

Aby Kaupang, Fort Collins, CO, little “g” god grows
     tired of me

Dan Gutstein, Washington, DC, Cent/ R.I.P/ 

Open Book Competition Runners-Up:

Julie Doxsee, Istanbul, Turkey, what replaces us when we go
Endi Bogue Hartigan, Portland, OR, Chorus Interstice


First Book Competition Finalists:

Erica Bernheim, Lakeland, FL, The Halo Effect
Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Williamstown, MA, But a Storm Is  
    Blowing from Paradise 

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Williamstown, MA, Inside the Face
      Inside the Heart Inside 

Nick Courtright, Austin, TX, Likely Fates
Steffi Drewes, Emeryville, CA, Her Wingspan in Inches
Regan Good, Brooklyn, NY, The Atlantic House
Tanya Larkin, Somerville, MA, Enemy Love Son
Corey Mead, Brooklyn, NY, All But War Is Simulation


First Book Competition Semifinalists:

Erica Anzalone, Las Vegas, NV, The Hourglass Delivers
Emma Bolden, Georgetown, KY, A Public Reading of  

Julie Phillips Brown, Ithaca, NY, The Adjacent Possible
Nik De Dominic, New Orleans, LA, Not Here, Not Dead
Claire Donato, Brooklyn, NY, Off to the Nervous Museum
Michael Tod Edgerton, Athens, GA, Vitreous Hide
Ryan Flaherty, Dover, NH, What’s This, Bombardier
Andy Frazee, Athens, GA, The Silence of Our
Rebecca Hazelton, Tallahassee, FL, Fair Copy
Don Hymans, Wyckoff, NJ, Delicate Seeming
Lily Ladewig, Northampton, MA, The Silhouettes
Blueberry Morningsnow, North Liberty, IA, Whale in the

Jesse Nissim, Oakland, CA, Diagram Her Dream of Flight
Janine Oshiro, Kaneohe, HI, Pier
Caryl Pagel, Milwaukee, WI, Emergency
David Semanki, Cambridge, MA, Widescreen
David Sewell, Howell, WI, Now We’re Really Living
Gene Tanta, Chicago, IL, Pastoral Emergency
Sasha West, Tucson, AZ, Forge
Cori A. Winrock, Fairport, NY, Anti-Portrait at Flashpoint

Open Book Competition Finalists:

Seth Abramson, Madison, WI, Chronophrenia
Hadara Bar-Nadav, Kansas City, MO, This Frame Called

Emily Carr, Quincy, IL, A Conversation with the Narrator
Sandra Doller, Harpers Ferry, WV, Man Years
Julie Doxsee, Istanbul, Turkey, The Next Monsters
Brian Henry, Richmond, VA, Brother No One
Roxane Beth Johnson, San Francisco, CA, Plenty
Kirsten Kaschock, Philadelphia, PA, The Dottery
Karla Kelsey, Selinsgrove, PA, Of Consequents and
     Interruption Stitched into the Eye of Lost Storms

Stacie Leatherman, Strongsville, OH, Storm Crop
Kristi Maxwell, Cincinnati, OH, Tiny Wires Touching the
     Right Way

Aaron McCullough, Ann Arbor, MI, Rough Soul
Jennifer Millitello, Goffstown, NH, Body Thesaurus
Jean-Paul Pecqueur, Brooklyn, NY, X-ray
Zach Savich, Amherst, MA, The Adult Longeing Guide
Rob Schlegel, Iowa City, IA, Bloom
Maureen Seaton, Hollywood, FL, Fibonacci Batman
Sandra Simonds, Tallahassee, FL, Mother Was a Tragic Girl


Open Book Competition Semifinalists:

Renee Ashley, Ringwood, NJ, The View from the Body
Julianne Buchsbaum, Lawrence, KS, Still Life with Rooms
      People Live In

Adam Clay, Kalamazoo, MI, Nodaway River
Elizabeth J. Colen, Bellingham, WA, Waiting Up for the End
      of the World

Shira Dentz,Salt Lake City, UT, how do i net thee
Noah Eli Gordon, Denver, CO, The Source
Matthew Guenette, Madison, WI, American Busboy
Joshua Harmon, South Hadley, MA, Le Spleen de

Cynthia Huntington, Post Mills, VT, Heavenly Bodies
Christopher Janke, Greenfield, MA, Blepharism
Christopher Janke, Greenfield, MA, Prayer to the Aardwolf
Ruth Ellen Kocher, Boulder, CO, /domina Un/blued
Matthew Lippman, Newtonville, MA, Lullaby for Earth
Sandra Meek, Rome, GA, Road Scatter
Keith Montesano, Vestal, NY, What's Left to Burn
Emily Rosko, Ithaca, NY, Prop Rockery
Rob Schlegel, Iowa City, IA, Wrack Line
Peter Jay Shippy, Jamaica Plain, MA, Unearthlings
Carmen Gimenez Smith, Las Cruces, NM, Trees Outside the

Sarah Vap, Shelton, WA, Take Us the Foxes