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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.