Oh, a gleam of light in this bleak and most trying month. It is with considerable delight that I announce that my manuscript for a collection titled Storm Swimmer was selected by Rowan Ricardo Phillips as winner of this year’s Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry. I’ve worked on this book with great devotion and energy for several years, and it is most reassuring to learn that it has found a home.
It will be published by UNT Press in March 2023. I extend my deepest gratitude to Rowan for believing in the book and to John Poch for overseeing the competition in which it was selected as winner. Thanks go out also to the editors at UNT Press, who have been most helpful as we begin to move toward publication.
Many thanks for those who provided valuable comments and suggestions at every stage of the book’s composition, including Alicia Stallings (with special thanks for coining the title “Alchemericana” as a misreading in an e-mail exchange), Sunil Iyengar, Amy Glynn, Luke Stromberg, Ashley Anna McHugh, and Bill Coyle.
Thanks also to Chilean artist Franco Salas-Borquez, whose painting “La Furie” (2021, reproduced in this post) will be used as the basis of the book’s design. He has been enthusiastic and helpful from the start. Thanks also to Mitch Plotkin of M Fine Arts Galerie in Boston for his help with the process.
Congratulations to the many highly talented finalists (out of a field of four hundred manuscripts), a truly formidable group: Jason Gray, Luke Johnson, Allison Wilkins, Gretchen Steele Pratt, Austin Allen, Christina Pugh, Jane Zwart, Devon Miller-Duggan, Brian Brodeur, Paul Bone, Graham Hillard, and semifinalists Stephen Priest, Gary Leising, Regina DiPerna, David Moolten, Daniel Anderson, Ashley Anna McHugh, Terese Svoboda, April Lindner, H.L. Hix, Nicholas Friedman, Scott Coffel, Martha Silano, Chelsea Woodard, and Ned Balbo. This is a phalanx of astonishing poetic achievement. One wouldn’t go wrong publishing an anthology of these poets as a snapshot of some of the very best writing in America today.
I extend warmest gratitude to the editors of the magazines in which these poems originally appeared, some in slightly different form, including 32 Poems, Asheville Poetry Review, Bennington Review, Bowery Gothic, The Dark Horse, Cassandra Voices, Edinburgh Review, Fruita Pulp, Hawk & Whippoorwill, Hopkins Review, Hudson Review, Literary Matters (Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers), Measure Review, The Moth, The New Criterion, The North American Anglican, ONE ART: A Journal of Poetry, Per Contra, Raintown Review, Philadelphia Stories, Red Fez, Seneca Review (50th-Anniversary “On Anxiety” Edition), Smartish Pace, THINK: A Journal of Poetry, Fiction, and Essays, and Trinity House Review.