2018 Blue Lynx Prize Winner and Finalists

By , November 5, 2018

Once again we were amazed at the variety, intensity, and excellence of submissions to the Blue Lynx Prize competition. It is gratifying to read heart-felt and intelligent work from so many, when we know the hours and hours of solitary effort, and years of reading and thinking, that lie behind every single submission. We read each manuscript with care and appreciation and found many that were publishable, but, alas, could not accept them all.

Whereas most years we have assigned the task of choosing from among the finalists to a notepoet, the choice of winner this year was a staff decision, which actually made it more difficult. But, in the end, we decided to award the prize to Joe Wilkins for his collection Thieve.

Wilkins is also the author of the poetry collections Killing the Murnion Dogs and Notes from the Journey Westward. His most recent book of poetry, When We Were Birds, part of the Millers Williams Poetry Prize Series, edited by Billy Collins, won the 2017 Oregon Book Award in Poetry. His work has appeared in a host of the nation’s leading magazines and literary journals, including The Georgia Review, The Southern ReviewThe Missouri ReviewHarvard Review, TriQuarterlyOrion, The Sun, High Country News, and Slate. His debut novel Fall Back Down When I Die comes out this spring.

Once again, thank you all for your faith in us. We hope you will consider entering the competition again next year. The deadline will again be May 15, and the address and fee will also remain the same.

The 2018 Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry

By , January 1, 2018

The 2018 Blue Lynx Prize, $2000 plus publication for a full-length volume of poems, is open for submissions through June 1st. See the contest guidelines on our submissions page.

2017 Blue Lynx Prize Winners and Finalists

By , November 27, 2017

The winner of the 2017 Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry is Marc Harshman, selected by judge John Hodgen, for his manuscript Woman in Red Anorak. Harshman is the poet laureate of West Virginia, and his poetry books include Green-Silver and Silent and the chapbook Rose of Sharon. Periodical publications include Shenandoah, The Georgia Review, The Progressive, Appalachian Heritage, and Fourteen Hills. Poems have been anthologized by Kent State University, the University of Iowa, University of Georgia, and the University of Arizona. Short prose works have recently been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His eleven children’s books include The Storm, a Smithsonian Notable Book. He lives in Wheeling, West Virginia and holds degrees from Bethany College, Yale University Divinity School, and the University of Pittsburgh.

The finalists for the 2017 prize are

Mark Brazaitis
Angel Garcia
Shannon Jonas
Steve Lautermilch
Alexander Long
Maxine Scates
Phillip Sterling
Randall Watson

Thank you to all who submitted to the 2017 prize, especially for your patience during the selection process.  Submissions will be open for the 2018 prize soon.

2016 Blue Lynx Prize Winner and Finalists

By , November 15, 2016

The winner of the 2016 Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry is Ralph Burns, for his manuscript titled but not yet. Burns has published six books, most recently Ghost Notes, winner of the FIELD Poetry Prize and published by Oberlin College Press, and Swamp Candles, winner of the Iowa Poetry Award and published by the University of Iowa Press. He has published poems in FIELD, The Southern Poetry Review, EPOCH, The Atlantic, Ploughshares, and Poetry.  He edited Crazyhorse for about fifteen years, and lives in Fair Lawn, New Jersey.

The finalists for the 2016 prize are

Mark Cox
Karina Borowicz
Jennifer Givhan
Alexander Long
Veronica Patterson
Randall Watson

Many thanks to everyone who submitted to the 2016 prize! Submissions will be open for the 2017 prize soon.

2015 Blue Lynx Prize Winner and Finalists

By , November 7, 2015

The winner of the 2015 Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry is David Nielsen, for his collection Unfinished Figures, selected by judge Kathleen Flenniken. This is Nielsen’s first book publication; his poetry appears in The Southern Review, Ploughshares, Parnassus, RHINO, The Cortland Review, Cutbank, Gulf Coast, Hayden Ferry Review, North American Review, Willow Springs, Rattle, Chariton Review, Florida Review, American Literary Review, and many other magazines. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The 2015 Blue Lynx Prize finalists are

Robert Cooperman, Draft Board Blues
Patricia Hooper, Separate Flights
Desiree Alvarez, Devil’s Paintbrush 
Holly Karapetkova, Towline
Susan Cohen, A Different Wakeful Animal
Carine Topal, Some World
Danielle Hanson, Ambushing Water
Darcy Cummings, Floating Women

Thank you so much to all of our contestants. Our decision is always a difficult one to make, and we value all of the work, care, and beautiful craft that goes into the many manuscripts we receive.

2014 Blue Lynx Prize Awarded to Prartho Sereno

By , November 20, 2014


The 18th annual Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry was awarded to Prartho Sereno for her collection, Elephant Raga.

The poems in Elephant Raga are strange and lyrical stories, jokes, heart breaking truths, and existential meditations. Their amazing energy and freshness makes every page an adventure and a delight. This is poetry for everyone.

Since 1999, Prartho Sereno has been teaching for schools, colleges, senior centers, and private groups all over northern California. Her poems and essays have been widely published in journals, including Atlanta ReviewBarrow StreetComstock Review, and Rattle.

The 2014 Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry

By , January 11, 2014

The 2014 Blue Lynx contest is now closed. Thank you to all who submitted work.

If you are interested in submitting manuscripts during our open reading period, June 1 – August 1, please contact us to query.


2013 Blue Lynx Prize Awarded to Suzanne Lummis

By , December 5, 2013

The 17th annual Blue Lynx Prize competition was won by poet Suzanne Lummis, of Los Angeles, for her collection Open 24 Hours.

Suzanne Lummis has been associated with the Los Angeles “Stand Up Poets” of the 80’s, who advocated a vibrant oral poetry, as well as strong attention to literary detail and value.  She is also often grouped with the “Fresno Poets” who studied with Phillip Levine, Peter Everwine and Charles Hanzlicek in the legendary Fresno State University writing program.  Her defining essay on “poems noir”—poems that draw some tonal inspiration from the low-budget, black-and-white crime movies of the 40s and 50s—appeared in New Mexico’s Malpais Review.  And, in 2013, NPR’s “All Things Considered” featured her in a segment titled, “Writing Noir Poetry, with LA as a Backdrop.”

Her poems have been published in a number of major literary journals, including Ploughshares, The Hudson Review, New Ohio Review, The Antioch Review, and Hotel Amerika.  They have also appeared or are forthcoming in the Knopf anthologies, Poems of Murder and Mayhem, Poems of the American West, and Human and Inhuman Monstrous Verse. An earlier collection, In Danger, was published by Heyday Books.

Roy Bentley Wins 2012 Blue Lynx Prize

By , April 2, 2013

Roy Bentley’s winning volume, Starlight Taxi, will be released in fall 2013.

Bentley has received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Ohio Arts Council. His poems have appeared in the Southern Review, North American Review, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, Sou’wester, American Literary Review, and elsewhere. He has published nine chapbooks and three books of poetry, including The Trouble with a Short Horse in Montana, which won the White Pine Poetry Prize and was published by White Pine in 2006.

Seattle Poet Thomas Brush Wins 2011 Blue Lynx Prize

By , February 21, 2012

The fifteenth annual Blue Lynx Prize has been awarded to Thomas Brush for his full-length poetry collection, Last Night.  The winning collection was chosen from among more than five hundred submissions and will be published in spring, 2012, by Lynx House Press, the contest’s founding sponsor.  The winner also receives a cash prize of $2000, payable upon publication.

Thomas Brush is a life-long resident of Seattle. He has a B.A. from Central Washington University and an M.A. from the University of Washington and taught for many years in nearby Kent, Washington.  His work has appeared in many distinguished journals, including Poetry, Prairie Schooner, the Iowa Review, Crazyhorse, and the North American Review. The quality of that work has also been acknowledged by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Washington Arts Commission, and the Washington Artist Trust.

The poems in Last Night are drawn from the lost who walk the streets, discarded road signs and postcards, the natural world, and memory.  The people in them wager every day on cars, their dreams, garage sales, love (real and imagined), old hymnals, rain forests, raccoons, and flights of gulls.  Sometimes they win, more often they lose, even when the bartender says, “sure thing.”  The overall effect of the book is hard hitting, direct, gritty, and sweet; it has much in common with the work of another Seattle area native, the late Richard Hugo.

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